HTC’s upcoming standalone version of the Vive VR headset will reportedly have different software distribution channels depending on the region that it’s sold in. The Chinese version of the hardware will only be able to officially get software through the Viveport service, HTC’s own storefront where the company curates and features content specifically optimized for compatibility with the Vive. The United States’ version of the standalone HTC Vive, however, will also be able to run any content that’s compatible with Google’s Daydream ecosystem. According to HTC’s very own Graham Breen, the two headsets will share hardware, and only the software will be different from region to region. No other regions with differing software have been announced thus far.
Specs on the upcoming headset have not been revealed yet, but the diminutive size and compatibility with Daydream software would suggest that on the go VR enthusiasts will not have an Intel processor and separate NVIDIA GPU at their disposal like their PC-using peers, though a somewhat weaker AMD processor setup with integrated ATI graphics is feasible. The most likely scenario, of course, is that the standalone headset will make use of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor and its VR-friendly horsepower, along with its rather uncommon ability to emulate x86 PC instructions, making it easier to port over PC software. An NVIDIA chip could also be on board; though the CPU power of the Snapdragon 835 is higher, VR gaming could get a boost from the somewhat more powerful GPU found in NVIDIA’s Tegra X1 chip, the one found in the NVIDIA Shield Android TV.
The standalone version of the HTC Vive was originally thought to be aimed squarely at the Chinese market, having been shown off at an event in Shanghai back in July. While the exact specs of the headset are still unknown, HTC has announced that the headset will contain Google’s Worldsense technology, allowing for 6 degrees of freedom out of the box without any additional sensors. This headset would be among the first standalone VR headsets to feature the technology, which means that more apps and games that take advantage of it could show up on Viveport and Google Play via Daydream support in the near future.