I received an email announcing that VIVE has released their new standalone virtual reality headset, called the VIVE Focus 3. This is the first major standalone headset which is not part of the Facebook/Oculus ecosystem, which means that you do not have to sign up for an account on the Facebook social network in order to use it—in my books, a major selling point!
This headset, which is intended for the corporate market, retails for UD$1,300 (which works out to $1,750 Canadian dollars due to our lamentable exchange rate).
The Vive Focus 3 product page on the VIVE website gives some examples of use cases for this new standalone headset (which can also be used as a PCVR headset with the addition of an appropriate cable to your gaming PC):
Mike from the Virtual Reality Oasis has already reviewed the VIVE Focus 3 in this 15-minute YouTube video:
In this video, he discusses whether or not the Focus 3 is any good for gaming, and compares it with the Oculus Quest 2. He loves the design of the product, and says it took only 10 minutes to get up and running. Mike notes a few of the limitations of this headset (notably, a noisy fan and a very small sweet spot for the lenses), and says that, in his opinion, “it’s just not ready for consumers”.
Cas and Chary also reviewed the VIVE Focus 3 in the following 15-minute video:
Like Mike, Cas and Chary note the high-quality design, the removable, swappable 26.6Wh Lithium-Polymer Gel battery, the expandable memory slot (128 GB / 8 GB with support up to 2TB microSD), and the excellent hand tracking. I am also happy to note that both reviews mention that glasses will fit into the VIVE Focus 3 headset!
Again, the major market for the Focus 3 is the business market, and it is a rather expensive standalone headset for consumer use, especially compared to the Oculus Quest 2, a product which I have been told Facebook sells at a loss (no doubt hoping to recoup the investment on games and app sales in the Oculus Store).
I’m sorely tempted to buy, but I think I will wait for version 2 of this headset (or perhaps, another non-Facebook standalone product, like the Pico Neo 3?) before I decide to purchase a replacement for my trusty Oculus Quest 1 headset, which is currently sitting in its box, waiting to be mailed to my sister-in-law in Alberta for use in her work with developmentally-challenged adults. I’ll stick with my beloved Valve Index for now! 😉