HTC Officially Cancels Standalone Google Daydream Headset

HTC Vive Standalone

HTC’s standalone Daydream headset has been officially scrapped and will not be coming to the US. Back in May, HTC announced plans alongside Google to introduce a new Daydream headset that would complement the company’s Vive headset, as well as Google’s own Daydream View. Just six short months later, though, and the companies have both confirmed that the headset is no longer in development, with both companies now switching their focus towards other devices.

The standalone Daydream headset was set to be manufactured by HTC and based on Google’s new WorldSense tracking technology, which would provide users with a much more intuitive and in-depth experience within the headset, something that was not possible with previous generation VR devices. But despite initial enthusiasm from both companies, as well as a guarantee from HTC that the headset would arrive by the end of this year, in early fall the Taiwanese company changed the device’s status from “coming this year” to “coming soon,” something that set alarm bells ringing for many and it has now confirmed its cancellation. Not all is bad news, though, with Google reassuring consumers that the previously-announced Lenovo Daydream headset was still in the works with a release date set for later this year. In terms of HTC, the company also had a more positive VR-related announcement up its sleeves. The company has confirmed the release of the standalone HTC Vive Focus in the Chinese market, which is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, alongside the new Vive Wave platform which will provide a unified interface and tools to developers in the hope of providing content for VR devices. Currently, though, HTC is yet to announce a release date for the device or any availability outside of China, so for now, at least, the Vive Focus looks to be exclusive to that region.

HTC is yet to confirm the official reasoning behind the cancellation, but tough competition from the likes of Oculus may have played a role. After all, Oculus not only slashed the price of the Oculus Rift earlier on this year but also announced its new standalone headset called the Oculus Go, which is set to retail at $199, significantly lower than the rumored $400 price tag HTC and Google had planned for the standalone Daydream headset. The company may make another attempt at cracking the US VR market in the future, but considering HTC’s market-leading position in China, it looks as though it has taken the safe bet for now in the hope of widening its lead even further.