Apart from smartphones, HTC has been heavily investing in virtual reality. Last year, it launched the HTC Vive, a full-fledged virtual reality headset to be used with PCs. Later, it released a wireless upgrade kit for the Vive, allowing a fully wireless experience to gamers. Even though companies like Samsung and Lenovo made smartphone-based VR headsets for quite some time now, HTC didn’t release any such mobile VR device, but it had promised that it would launch one soon. Well, HTC’s smartphone-based VR headset has now gone official, but it’s limited to the Japanese market.
The HTC Link VR works with the HTC U11, but unlike the Samsung Gear VR and other mobile-based VR headsets, the Link VR has its own display. All the processing weight is carried out by the U11, and the video signal is sent to the Link VR via the USB Type-C cable. The headset’s 3.6-inch display has a resolution of 1080 x 1200 pixels, 90Hz refresh rate, and has a field of view of 110 degrees. The VR headset also has 3-axis head tracking, which is much more accurate than accelerometer or gyroscope-based VR head tracking. It also has a built-in battery and a pair of PS Move-like lollipop-shaped wireless controllers.
The pricing or availability of the HTC Link VR headset hasn’t been announced yet, and it doesn’t look like you can hook it up to your PC for VR gaming. Moreover, it doesn’t even carry the Vive branding, so HTC seems to be keeping a distance between its VR and smartphone businesses. VR gaming hasn’t caught up yet, and only mobile VR headsets like the Gear VR and Cardboard are popular as of now. Samsung’s Gear VR was the most popular VR headset last quarter, outselling the HTC Vive, Google Daydream, Oculus Rift, and Sony PS VR combined. Google announced at the I/O 2017 conference that it has teamed up with HTC and Lenovo to launch standalone VR headsets
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