HTC’s Vive-like VR headset based on Daydream for Android devices is said to have been cancelled for western markets, according to a report from TechCrunch. Supposedly made in partnership with Google and originally slated for a release at the end of 2017, the headset seems to have been dropped entirely, likely due to the changing climate of the virtual reality market.
Originally launching with WorldSense, a new technology developed by Google for extra accuracy in movement in VR, this headset was the result of one of the two VR partnerships Google made. Back in May, Google announced partnerships with both HTC Vive and Lenovo. Now, it seems that only the Lenovo headset will be released in western markets towards the end of this year.
The HTC Vive Focus will launch as a Qualcomm standalone in the Chinese market later this year. This headset will not be running WorldSense and will instead opt to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon VR tracking system and HTC’s Viveport platform. This was set to be cosmetically identical to the HTC Daydream headset launching in partnership with Google in the west.
This move comes as HTC’s VR efforts have been undermined in the west by Facebook’s Oculus Go. The Oculus is sold at a loss, and HTC, a company which has seen decreased revenue in recent years, cannot afford to sell their product at a loss. In the Chinese market, HTC’s VR department tells a different story where it is an industry leader, largely thanks to its Viveport platform. Because of this, it may be possible that HTC themselves are the ones who pulled out of the deal rather than Google, for fear of not making a profit.
It is reported that HTC and Google still retain an excellent relationship, and this is not indicative of any industrial relations changes between the two companies.