Announced just last week, HTC today unveiled a Japan-only VR accessory for its U11 flagship. The HTC Link is not Vive-branded, but has impressive six degrees of freedom tracking (6DoF) that is a first for smartphone virtual reality.

The U11 does not slot into the HTC Link, but rather connects via USB-C. As such, the headset features two built-in 1080 x 1200 LCD panels with a 90Hz refresh rate and 110 degree field of view. In theory, other phones could eventually power the Link.

Plainly designed with white plastic and black straps, the package features two wand-like motion controllers with a light-up sphere on the end and a tracking sensor. The latter is responsible for the 6DoF motion sensing that is a first for smartphone-based VR and tracks lights on both the headset and controllers.

For content, the HTC Link will feature a Ghost in the Shell experience, but otherwise information about the headset’s ecosystem is lacking. Furthermore, the Link will only be released in Japan and there are no plans for a wider rollout.

Its lack of Vive branding is noticeable, with this headset using different tracking technology. HTC’s VR portfolio is becoming increasingly complicated following last week’s announcement that it would make a standalone Daydream headset in partnership with Google. Meanwhile, HTC briefly teased a Vive-branded smartphone last year.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: