HTC on Friday announced Viveport, its storefront for VR content and experiences. The service will be rolled out this fall, and a developer beta will be launching soon. The Viveport will be a destination for all HTC Vive users to access the latest VR content, organised into categories. The company also announced the Vive Home, a customisable personal virtual environment.
“Our mission is to unleash human imagination from the limitations of reality, and Viveport will be an important cornerstone in democratizing access to the world’s most diverse selection of immersive experiences,” said Cher Wang, CEO of HTC.
Interestingly, while HTC certainly wants Vive users to make use of Viveport, it is not designing this as an exclusive experience. What this means is twofold – first, if you already have a Vive, then you can also use Steam as a store for VR content. Steam, by Valve, HTC’s partner on Vive, is one of the best known and most full-featured game store and having access to Steam as a distribution can be seen as a major plus point for the Vive.
At the same time, Steam doesn’t have much of a user base in some parts of the world – it’s not used very heavily in China, for example. Viveport can smooth over these gaps, and apart from that, it’s an experience that’s built from the ground up with VR in mind, making it easier and more intuitive to find and access new VR content. That’s the plan anyway.
The store will also be accessible through browsers, and via PC and mobile apps, and that’s the second way in which the Viveport is an open platform. According to HTC, the content on the Viveport will not be exclusive to the Vive.