HTC, which is already a leader in the PC virtual reality industry with its Vive headset, is aiming its sights on mobile VR. A new report says that the company is launching the beta of Viveport M, a mobile version of its VR app store. However, the beta for the app store is only available in China, at least for now.
According to UploadVR, HTC revealed much of its VR efforts this weekend as part of Alibaba’s Cloud computing conference in China. Here are some of the company’s plans for embracing the mobile VR industry, which will center on the Android platform:
Somewhat similar to Google, HTC intends to provide consumers and developers with “guidelines” as to what specific smartphone hardware is required for a good VR experiences – though the aim is for it to reach as many phones as possible. HTC declined to comment whether they would be creating their own mobile VR hardware to go alongside the platform.
In addition to Viveport M, the company’s President and SVP of Virtual Reality Rikard Steiber stated that it will give app developers a chance to have their VR games and applications published directly by HTC for use in its Viveport Arcades. App publishers can get some marketing and distribution service assistance from HTC. In return, the company gets 50 percent of the app’s revenues. The company claims that over 100 US and Chinese developers have already signed up for the new publishing program.
Viveport Arcades will be set up in a number of Asian countries, mostly inside previously launched gaming arcades, internet cafes and karaoke bars. Hundreds of these Viveport Arcades are expected to become available in the Asian markets by the end of 2016, and around 2,000 such locations should be online by the end of 2017.