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Google to launch standalone VR headsets with HTC Vive, Lenovo

The headsets will not need a phone or PC to run, and they offer six degrees of tracking

Many professionals in the virtual reality business have voiced their opinion that completely standalone VR headsets are the next big step for the evolving technology. Today, at Google's I/O conference, it was announced that the firm is indeed pursuing standalone VR, but it's not doing so alone. Google has teamed with HTC Vive and Lenovo to offer headsets by the end of this year.

Thus far, Google's entry into VR has been on the mobile side with the Daydream headset, but these standalone units will not require any phone or PC. Moreover, thanks to the company's inside-out positional tracking system, called Worldsense, the headsets will offer six degrees of tracking unlike the far more limited designs of both Cardboard and the aforementioned Daydream. While the latter only lets users look around from a fixed point, six degrees of freedom means that users can move and look around freely, similar to the high-end VR systems.

"We have been working closely with developers and consumers to define the best VR experiences over the past few years, and we are perfectly positioned to deliver the most premium standalone headset and user experience," Vive said on its blog. "Vive's standalone VR headset will provide a deeper and more immersive portable VR experience than ever before."

Prices, exact launch timing, and more hardware/software specifics have not yet been shared, but Google and its partners are promising that much more information is coming soon.

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James Brightman

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James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.

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