Advertisement

HTC Vive Focus hands-on: a promising start for next-gen mobile VR

HTC Vive Focus hands-on: a promising start for next-gen mobile VR
From Engadget - November 14, 2017

The look and feel of the Focus is pretty much everything I expected. Compared to the original Vive, the Focus is lighter which, combined with its rotational head strap plus a new cushion (presumably made of leatherette; HTC would not confirm), offers extra comfort while being worn. With the only tracking component being the dual-camera WorldSense module (plus what I assume to be its ventilation grill above it), the Focus has a noticeably cleaner look than its higher-end cousin. Though if I were to ever use one in a public area, I would probably paint a more subtle color over Vive's signature blue first.

At the bottom of the main body you will find an interpupillary distance dial, a headphone jack and volume buttons, whereas the top side features just a micro-USB socket for recharging. What I did not notice until later on is that the headset actually has built-in stereo speakers -- they are the slots almost right above where your ears would be. They obviously are not the best-sounding speakers, but they are loud and they do the job.

Then there's the 3DoF Bluetooth controller. From afar, it looks like an even smaller version of the Samsung Gear VR controller but with a different button arrangement. The top side features a thumb trackpad, a select button plus a re-centering button (hold down for three seconds to re-center), while the volume rockers sit on the right hand side, and the trigger is at the usual tip area on the bottom side.

In general, I found the Focus' "world-scale" inside-out tracking to work well in the less intensive apps, especially the soccer-themed game which let me practice my heading. That was surprisingly fun for a relatively basic gameplay, and there were times when I wanted to headbutt the incoming balls with more force, but I had to resist the temptation in order to avoid pulling a Zidane back in the real world.

Another app with good head tracking was a cartoonish go karting game, though I was having problems with maintaining my acceleration while simultaneously using nitro boost -- it was hard to hold down the trigger and the thumb trackpad at the same time on that small controller. I am also hoping that the trigger will have a stronger spring mechanism in the final version.

Advertisement

Continue reading at Engadget »