HTC CES 2017: HTC To Get Bigger In The VR MarketBy Erwin Castro, UniversityHerald Reporter
At CES 2017, HTC introduced two new technologies designed to rapidly grow its Vive virtual reality platform. HTC is moving fast and may try to claim the crown of becoming the leader in virtual reality industry.
Last year was an important year where we saw some important virtual reality technology launches, which include Facebook's Oculus and Sony's PlayStation. HTC Vive was also launched and reportedly sold more than 140,000 units between April and October. HTC VR chief Dan O'Brien has referred to 2016 as a coming out moment for virtual reality technology.
But despite the big sales experienced last year, HTC is still not convinced about the huge numbers and it's looking for more. This is probably why the hardware maker wants a different strategy to boost user base and consumer interest.
HTC unveils two new VR products but still chasing for more
At CES 2017 event, HTC unveiled two VR accessories for the HTC Vive virtual reality system, CNET reported.The first one is a Vive Tracker, which allows users to attach other physical peripherals or controllers so they can be tracked in the VR world. The second one is the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap, a new head strap with integrated audio.
According to HTC, both peripherals can be attached to the Vive Tracker so they will be recognized by the Vive's position-tracking technology. HTC also said it's already working with eight different partners in VR accessories.
The Vive Deluxe Audio Strap now has a more comfortable strap that goes along the top of the head and comes with integrated audio. Both technologies add incremental improvements to the HTC Vive VR system, making things a bit more comfortable.
In addition to the two VR accessories, HTC has also revealed that it plans to roll out a new subscription option for its Viveport VR store. The planned subscription option will allow HTC Vive VR owners to use apps and play games for free, according to Shacknews.
Unfortunately, those two new VR products that have been announced at CES 2017 are not going to move the needle for the company. HTC still needs to do more.
HTC has a new strategy for its VR business
HTC is not just announcing a subscription model for its Viveport app store. It also wants a niche for the digital storefront it created for the HTC Vive, more business-scale sales. The new strategy aims to empower smaller businesses and content creators en route to its primary goal -- to build the largest virtual reality platform in the market
One of HTC's initiatives, Viveport Arcade will offer large-scale licensing of titles and also allow developers to license content for timed use in immersive VR arcades. In addition, HTC is also focusing on non-game content with the hope that its app store can be to business VR applications, just like what Steam is doing for PC-based gaming.