In the summer HTC Vive announced at ChinaJoy that it would be launching a new service called Viveport Streaming, allowing users of its standalone headset Vive Focus Plus to access PC VR content without the need for wires. Today, that feature has gone live in beta form, enabling Vive Focus Plus customers to access Viveport content via a 5GHz Wi-Fi network.
Viveport Streaming will be fairly limited, to begin with, available for free to Viveport Infinity subscribers who own a Vive Focus Plus. Users will need to upgrade their PC Viveport software and the Vive Focus Plus firmware to the latest versions to enable the streaming service. Viveport Streaming will only be available for home users for the time being, with enterprise users gaining access in the near future.
That last factor is unusual because when Vive Focus Plus launched at the beginning of the year for $799 USD, it was (and still is) marketed as an all-in-one VR headset for enterprise, not as a consumer product. If you do buy a Vive Focus Plus you’ll automatically receive a complimentary six-month Viveport Infinity membership.
“In the past, VR customers have had to choose between the high-quality visuals and the large content library of PC VR systems, or the wireless freedom and ease of use of a standalone VR device,” said Graham Wheeler, EMEA General Manager, HTC. “With Viveport Streaming we’re linking a large content library including high-quality enterprise apps with the convenience of a standalone headset, all without a tether to the PC.”
Operation is designed to be simple. So long as the Vive Focus Plus and VR-ready PC are on the same 5GHz Wi-Fi network (which most modern routers support), the Viveport software will detect and link them automatically with a single click. In the future, standalone VR devices which support the Vive Wave platform will also have access to Viveport Streaming.
The announcement is certainly a little dig at rival Oculus Quest and Oculus Link which launched last month. Alvin Wang Graylin, HTC’s China President, tweeted about the announcement saying: “No need for special #wires or cables.”
How well the wireless service works in regards to latency and other variables remains to be seen. As further details are released VRFocus will let you know.
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