It is good to see HTC introduce a new VR headset. Although this HMD will only work with the U11 smartphone developed by the company, it is yet another player in the mobile VR market. Unfortunately, this product will only launch in Japan for some strange reason. That is an interesting decision, although we know Japan is the world’s second largest virtual reality market right now.
The HTC Link Will Not Come To The Rest of the World
Introducing new VR hardware that only works with proprietary devices is not a smart decision in most cases. HTC Feels they can buck this trend, and their HTC Link headset will aim to prove their point. One will need an HTC U11 phone to operate this HMD, though, which could prove to be quite a challenge. Moreover, limiting the availability of this new headset to only the Japanese market is quite an odd decision to most experts.
Then again, we do know Japan is a large VR market. The country recently overtook China regarding hardware sales, although only by a small margin. One would expect HTC to target the US, considering it represents 40% of all VR hardware sales. That does not appear to be the plan, as Japan is the only region of interest for the company. Considering the HMD features six degrees-of-freedom tracking hardware, it will be interesting to see how the market responds to this product.
On the hardware side, the HTC Link comes with two 3.6 inch LCD displays depicting a 1080×1200 resolution. It will also support the 90Hz refresh rate, which is nice to see. The connection between the HMD and the HTC U11 will occur through a USB-C connection. Further specifics remain anybody’s guess at this point, though. This new headset will not interfere with the release of the rumored HTC Vive 2, or the new Daydream headset the company is developing.
It is evident the mobile VR ecosystem will continue to heat up over the coming months and years. Consumers are more likely to experiment with a mobile VR headset compared to paying $800 or more for a desktop-connected product. This could be a smart move by HTC in the long run, despite the limited release of the product in question. Japan is a critical region for the future of virtual reality, that much is evident.
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