Late last year it was revealed that HTC was working on a digital content storefront for its upcoming virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD), the HTC Vive. The news came as a surprise to many fans as the device has famously been made in a partnership with Valve, the creators of the immensely successful digital PC store, Steam. Why would HTC feel the need to build a store that could possibly compete with Steam, then? That’s a question that the company has recently answered for all.
HTC’s Shen Ye said as much in a Q&A session at the recent Cologne VR meet up. Following a presentation on the HTC Vive, Ye was asked about the thinking behind the creation of the Viveport store. “The HTC store is more of an option for people who can’t use Steam,” he explained. “You’ll be able to use it anywhere but if you take a look at China, for example, where we had the dev conference, Steam doesn’t really have that much user base there. So we’re trying to fill in the gap so that anyone who gets hold of a Vive get the possibility to go and download content.”
It sounds as if countries in which Steam thrives won’t need to pay much attention to Viveport, then. That said, Oculus Rift HMD creator Oculus VR is readying its own Oculus Store to sell content for its device. That store should be going live when the Oculus Rift finally arrives on 28th March 2016, while the HTC Vive will be launching in the following April. The former costs some $599 USD, though the final price for the latter is yet to be announced.
Stay tuned to VRFocus for the latest on both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive as well as all other VR HMDs.