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Cher Wang: Vive to Become a Standalone Company

HTC Vive Pre Set. New controllers, new HMD, new 'Lighthouse' tracking units

Back in October 2015, we had a conversation with an senior industry executive close to HTC. In that conversation, the soft-spoken executive claimed that HTC’s virtual reality group will go through a major change, and that the future for Vive will be “what the Radeon Technologies Group spin-off was for AMD, but (HTC) will go beyond that.” According to our source, HTC was used as a logistics and legal vehicle to jump-start the new company, which will go much further than a simple headset designer and manufacturer.

Thanks to Digitimes, we learned that Chinese-only newspaper Commercial Times confirmed the upcoming spin-off from none other than Cher Wang herself. The CEO and Chairman of HTC fought many battles and won, continuing her family’s reign as one of most influential families in Taiwan (research Formosa Plastics). Daughter of legendary Wang Yung-ching, she used her skills among nine other siblings to not just rival, but overtake her father’s wealth. Shifting between S3 Graphics, VIA Technologies and HTC, Cher proved that she can pull moves that are often misunderstood by the competition.

Cher Wang, head of HTC, S3 Graphics, VIA Technologies etc.

Vive brand is a cornerstone element of Cher Wang’s strategy that will span from developer relations and retail products to investment funds and industry organizations. If we take a look at HTC Vive today, the movement inside HTC could be split into the following:

  • HTC Vive PRE – Content Developer Program that samples Vive headsets to interested parties
  • HTC Vive – Virtual Reality Headset
  • ViveX Accelerator – $100 million Fund, locations in Beijing, Taipei and San Francisco
  • Viveport – Digital distribution channel to sell in-house and licensed VR content
  • Vive Studios – in-house VR content development, extended arm of ViveX for content (VR games / VR movies)
  • Asia Pacific Virtual Reality – Industry alliance led by Cher Wang

As you can see for yourself, the brand “HTC” is used only on two out of six different business entities that are designed to drive demand for virtual reality products. The future might bring the business entity “VIVE”, unifying different business units under the same banner. It is expected that the spin off will happen in third quarter of this year at the earliest. We expect that the spin off will take place before the company unveils their second generation headset that will bring 2K per eye resolution, higher refresh rate and more importantly, two different packages – one with the lighthouse and controllers, and the one without (for users of 1st gen Vive headsets).

  • i said it out loud

    If this is true I should cancel my Vive order now and wait a few months for their 2k resolution headset.

    • Brad Blackmere

      My best guess is we’ll see a launch in 12 to 16 months or so.

    • You’ll probably have to wait for a year. If they show the device on CES 2017, doubt there will be any availability before April 2017. By that time, you can already have thousands of hours in VR ready titles, and just sell the headset, buy the upgraded one and that’s that. You’ll loose money, but you won’t wait for 10 months to get onto the VR bandwagon.

      Especially consider multi-GPU setups like Radeon RX480 in Crossfire, that’ll be quite the ‘cheap’ investment. Alternatively, splurge for an 1070 or 1080 (do not buy Founders Edition, there are 3rd party designs which are really cool), or wait for AMD Vega.

      Whatever your decision might be, the choice is simple – buy now or wait. If you wait, you will get a better deal. But if you need to wait for 10 months or so, how good of a deal are we talking about?

    • Bobiroka

      There will always be something better coming down the pipe…