At the 2019 China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference, HTC took to the stage to debut Viveport Streaming, a new extension of its Viveport Infinity subscription service that now allows full wireless streaming of VR content to the Vive Focus Plus with a single click. Viveport Infinity is HTC's "Netflix for VR" and allows players to choose from hundreds of games for $12.99 per month (reduced to $8.99 per month with annual billing).
Standalone 6DoF devices like the Vive Focus Plus have typically been used for lighter styles of games, given the fact that they're powered by a mobile chipset inside and don't always offer roomscale tracking or motion controllers. This new Viveport Streaming feature will allow owners of a more powerful NVIDIA or AMD GPU powered PC to stream directly to their Vive Focus Plus head-mounted displays (HMDs) over their existing 5GHz network, granting access to full-immersion wireless VR without the need to buy an extra wireless accessory.
This update is currently scheduled to be available to the public in Q4 2019, which is likely just in time for HTC's other VR HMD launch this year, the Vive Cosmos. This update will initially only support the Vive Focus Plus on launch, but HTC is planning on opening the functionality up to other standalone 6DoF headsets that run the Vive Wave VR platform. Given that they've already opened up Viveport access to the Oculus family of devices, we wouldn't be surprised to see the popular Oculus Go added to that list eventually, but that's just being hopeful since the Oculus Go is not powered by Vive Wave.
Currently, the HTC Vive family is the only PC VR HMD that has wireless capabilities at all and this latest announcement adds a third headset to that family, opening up more possible uses than ever before. There have been talks of 5G-enabled VR HMDs in the works, but until those 5G networks are rolled out and are more robust and reliable, these are more of a concept than reality. This new Viveport Streaming feature works similarly to other in-home streaming devices, like the Steam Link, but requires no wires to get the job done.
The difference between this and something like unofficially streaming to an Oculus Quest or other standalone VR HMD is all in the interface. While you could go through some trouble to get streaming working with RiftCat, which can send a VR image to even your smartphone, the barrier of entry is more technical than some folks are comfortable with and typically involves interfacing with your PC's desktop as well as the viewer to complete the experience.
The Viveport Streaming feature sports a full UI that's designed to facilitate the streaming experience, including virtual desktops and any other functions needed to stay in VR without removing your headset. The goal here is to open up top-tier PC VR without the need for wires, and could bring about a much better experience for folks who are regularly getting entangled in their VR HMD's wires or didn't want to jump in because of wired headsets. The Vive Focus Plus isn't cheap though, so this isn't necessarily about reducing cost from the get-go, although that may be a long-term goal for HTC.