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HTC Vive standalone VR headsets: How to enjoy Vive games without a PC

HTC Vive’s standalone VR headsets give gamers access to virtual reality Vive titles, with no need for expensive PCs tethered to the helmet. Here’s all you need to know about the first Vive standalone visor, set to be a China exclusive, including news on the release of global headsets and supported games.

Earlier in 2017, Qualcomm announced plans to launch standalone VR headsets which can offer full virtual reality games and experiences, with no need for smartphones or PCs to be connected. These VR headsets use the super-powered Snapdragon 835 mobile platform, built into the device itself, as well as dedicated displays for producing immersive visuals.

What is a standalone VR headset?

Right now, mobile VR headsets are essentially just shells. You slip your smartphone inside and the handset does all of the grunt work, from running your virtual reality games to displaying the dual images need to fool your brain and provide an immersive experience.

However, Qualcomm is working with partners including HTC Vive to release standalone VR headsets, which can provide even better experiences with no need for a mobile phone. Or, in the case of Vive, no need to tether the headset to an expensive desktop computer, which is rather restrictive in terms of motion as well as budget.

This is achieved by building the processing tech, storage and displays into the helmet itself.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor is the perfect start. This platform offers an incredible VR experience, in the previews we’ve attended. That includes full movement inside a virtual environment, as well as hand mapping so you can accurately interact with imaginary objects inside of that environment. Check out our in-depth feature for more info.

When are these standalone VR headsets being launched?

Qualcomm and HTC have just announced the first Vive Standalone VR headset, which is to be released exclusively for the Chinese market. This uses the Viveport store, allowing users to download games and other VR apps to enjoy on the headset. No need for a PC. 

When will this standalone VR Vive headset be released?

Right now we don’t have a set release date for the standalone Vive headset, although it’s likely to hit stores later in 2017. However, this will not see a UK release, so you’ll have to import if you’re desperate to try it out for yourself.

Will a UK version of the HTC Vive standalone VR headset be released?

The following is direct from HTC: “Vive is working with Google to deliver the best-in-class standalone VR solution to the western markets.”

In other words, a UK version is in the works and will hopefully be launched later in the year, although there’s absolutely no word on possible dates for this release. Looks like China will provide a kind of testing period, before the headsets head west.

Check out some of our other VR features:

Which phone is best for VR?

Best VR headsets

Google Daydream VR, all you need to know

Best Google Daydream VR games

Where can I try HTC Vive for free in London?


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