HTC has been promising a proper mobile solution for VR - first the Vive wireless upgrade kit and now a proper phone-based solution. But before you call the HTC Link a “Gear VR clone”, note that the phone sits outside of the headset.
That’s right, the HTC U11 provides the number crunching and sends the video over USB-C. The headset has its own displays - 3.6” big (110° field of view), with 1,080 x 1,200px resolution and capable of 90Hz refresh rate.
Then there’s an external motion controller tracking, similar to the PS Move system (yes, the light-up lollipops). The tracker is battery -owered so you won’t be tripping over any wires. And the head tracking (with full 6 degrees of freedom) should be much more accurate than the accelerometer/gyroscope based tracking of Gear VR or Google Daydream.
Note that this tracking system is different from the lighthouse trackers. In fact, the HTC Link VR does not use the Vive branding (which means that Valve is not involved, instead Google and Lenovo are helping out).
Before you get too excited, we have two pieces of bad news. First, the Link was announced exclusively for Japan (to be launched in late July). Second, it doesn’t look like you can hook it up to a PC and use it as a lower cost alternative to the Vive (pricing for the Link VR has not been announced yet, but we are assuming it will be much cheaper).
This might be too early, but I sense HTC is really trying to get back on their feet. I really hope this is the case, and I hope they're trying hard enough and that they have learnt their lessons.
Google has nothing to do with this Link VR headset. They (Google, Lenovo, HTC) are working on standalone VR headsets wich require no phone or extra Tracking camera like the Link VR does.