HTC has officially pulled the plug on the standalone virtual reality (VR) headset the company was set to build with Google. The company instead introduced a separate device for the Chinese market that will be powered by a newly-announced mobile VR platform called Wave.
In May, HTC announced that it was building a new standalone VR headset based on Google’s Daydream platform. The device was supposed to have inside-out tracking, which means that it allows users to lean in an explore experiences with six degrees of freedom, something that’s not possible with the current generation of mobile VR headsets.
However, this fall, rumors surfaced that the device was delayed, and HTC actually changed its website from “coming this year” to “coming soon.” Sources told Variety at the time that Facebook’s announcement of its own standalone headset caused for significant concerns at both Google and HTC. Facebook’s device will be priced $200 when it gets released next year; HTC was expected to sell its device for at least twice as much.
On Tuesday morning, HTC and Google officially confirmed that the project was cancelled, with Techcrunch first to break the news. “No Daydream standalone from HTC, but we remain great partners,” said Google VR and AR VP Clay Bavor in a tweet.
HTC isn’t giving up on standalone devices altogether. The company officially introduced a new headset dubbed the Vive Focus in Beijing Tuesday that promises many of the same features as the now-cancelled Daydream standalone, with one key difference: The Vive Focus will run HTC Wave, a new mobile VR platform developed by HTC in cooperation with a number of other hardware manufacturers. There are no plans to release the device in the U.S..
Google is also still banking on standalone VR, thanks to a second partner: Lenovo is scheduled to release its own Daydream-based standalone device in the coming weeks, which Bavor plugged Tuesday in a tweet as well:
There is no word on the exact release date or pricing of the device yet, but Lenovo is expected to share further details before the end of the year.