While HTC hasn’t released any sales figures for the Vive head-mounted display (HMD), figures from platforms such as Steam do indicate the user base is growing. Most orders are handled online, through the HMDs dedicated shop, but the company is expanding its presence on the high street. This week HTC launched the headset in 36 retail outlets in Japan and plans are underway to expand the distribution network.
The additional HTC Vive retail outlets will grow to an expected 45 in total, reports Focus Taiwan. Sales in the stores have surpassed online orders in Japan, but HTC still hasn’t revealed figures. The 36 outlets were part of a distribution deal with, Dospara, Tsukumo and Unitcom. As part of the agreement the stores also feature demo stations for customers to try the headset out first.
In the Western market the retail push began a lot sooner. Back in March 2016 HTC announced five retail locations for the UK prior to launch, Currys PC World, Leeds (Birstall); Currys PC World, Reading; Currys PC World, Tottenham Court Road; Overclockers UK, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Scan Computers International Ltd, Bolton.
Then in April the Microsoft Flagship store in New York, Microsoft at Bellevue Square in Washington and Microsoft at City Creek Center in Utah were revealed to be the first stores to offer the HTC Vive. Since then additional Microsoft Stores have been added alongside Gamestop and Micro Center.
As VR has long been slated as a technology customers have to try before they can understand the immersive qualities of the technology, getting units into retailers has been an important marketing strategy.
VRFocus will continue its HTC Vive coverage, reporting back with any further news.