The Vive is again: New VR headsets need to be skilled different to Oculus Quest 2

Like the Oculus Quest 2, the Vive Focus 3 is independent and has the same chip.


Facebook’s standalone VR headset, the Oculus Quest 2, has no real competition if you’re looking for a simple VR device at home. HTC’s newest Vive headset, the Focus 3, could offer great benefits for business users. It looks a lot like an upgraded and more flexible version of the Quest 2, with better graphics and expandable memory … and a significantly higher price tag.

These headsets come out five years after the original HTC Vive promised to reinvent VR. The original Vive was intended for everyday gamers as well as businesses, but since then HTC has become increasingly business-oriented for VR independent and PC hardware.

Continue reading: Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s VR Future: New Sensors for Quest Pro, Fitness and a Metaverse for Work

HTC announced its latest business VR headset at a developer-focused ViveCon conference on Tuesday. In addition to the Focus 3, HTC is launching a new PC-connected Vive Pro 2 headset that has the same higher resolution and the same larger field of view as the Focus 3. Both headsets have a field of view of 120 degrees and a combined 5K resolution over both eyes (4,896 x 2,448 pixels). This is better than the HP Reverb G2 or the Oculus Quest 2. The interpupillary distance or IPD, which lies between the eyes, can be set between 57 and 72 mm, which is also better than the Quest 2.


Finally, the cameras on the Vive Focus 3 can perform hand tracking. However, the headset does not have gaze tracking.


The standalone Focus 3 is the most interesting: it shares the same thing Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Chip like the Oculus Quest 2, but pushes the chip onto an output with a higher resolution at 90 Hz. In many ways it sounds a lot like a professional spin on the Oculus Quest 2. (Facebook is also promising a pro version of the Quest in the future, which may highlight new sensors and higher performance.)

The Vive Focus 3 also has an additional USB-C port which, according to Dan O’Brien, global director of HTC Vive, can be used for expansion: adding custom accessories or sensors. According to O’Brien, the Focus 3’s XR2 chip has additional RAM (8 GB), a copper heat pipe, and fans to boost chip performance.

vive focus 3 controller

The Vive Focus 3 controllers look familiar.


A new set of controllers that come with the Focus 3 is similar to Facebook’s Oculus Touch controllers and has the same dual triggers, analog sticks, and buttons. The controllers are charged via USB-C, with a battery life of 15 hours being promised.

Other notable differences (compared to the Quest 2) are the expandable storage via microSD on the stand-alone Focus 3 and a removable rear battery in the head strap so that additional batteries can be charged and replaced. The headset is made of a magnesium alloy and the face part of the Focus 3 locks in place magnetically and is easy to replace and clean. It takes about two hours to charge the headset. In contrast to the Oculus Quest 2, it has a quick charge function via USB-C, which is charged to 50% in 30 minutes.

The Vive Focus 3 and Vive Pro 2 can be ordered immediately and will be delivered on June 24th and 4th. They are definitely not cheap, even if they are business-oriented: the Focus 3 is $ 1,300 and the Pro 2 with controller and external tracking base stations is $ 1,400.

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A notable absence in both headsets, however, is gaze tracking. HTC used Tobii eye tracking technology in a step-up version of the previous Vive Pro headset, this time the function is left out. According to O’Brien, the decision was partly based on price, partly based on what they see as a business interest in the feature. Eye tracking could be added by someone else, but HTC has yet to come up with native privacy solutions for it in these new headsets. Plus, there is currently no cellular or 5G option, but according to O’Brien this is a work in progress. While these headsets can track hands using the four external cameras in the headsets, this feature is not available at startup.

HTC re-entered consumer VR headsets a few years ago with the modular Vive Cosmos, but it doesn’t look like the Cosmos as a product has a great future anymore. O’Brien says the Cosmos continues to sell, but that “it hasn’t got all of the performance metrics we really wanted,” and that HTC may reconsider different ideas for the brand in the future.

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