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HTC VIVE Evolves to a Subscription Model

HTC Vive VR HMD in its shipping version.

Since its launch, VR gear makers struggled to gain mainstream acceptance. It is normal to buy or lease a car for a few hundred dollars a month, to own a thousand dollar phone with a monthly pay-off plan, but such clever price-reducing strategies were not the part of HTC or Oculus strategies and we all know what happened afterwards. Both HTC and Oculus were grilled for being too expensive, instead of being an “iPhone” of the VR industry.

HTC (finally) understood that its success in the smartphone space relied on the subscription options, and as such started to push. Let’s mention and that since January, VIVE VR itself can be purchased trough monthly payments and that’s not all, as there are limited edition┬ácombos with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 card, several telecom operators in Asia offer Razer gaming notebooks with HTC Vive VR through a subscription plan (smartphone + 1 or 10 Gbps line + TV channels + gaming system).

One of, if not the key HTC VIVE initiative to popularize VR is Viveport Subscription. Started a few days ago, the aim is to enable access to VR content at a great price. It is low-cost ($7 per month) and allows users to test out games before deciding to buy them permanently. Every month, you get access to five games of your choice and each month you can return them and select new games or keep the old ones. Also, one-month trial of Viveport Subscription is free to everyone who signs up at www.viveport.com.

There were over 50 titles available in Viveport Subscription, and the number is growing. The content expanded with the old titles and new additions divided into four categories: Explore worlds, Create Things, Experience Stories, and Connect with Friends. The list of new VR experiences is very entertaining:

Great Pyramid VR

Spacetours VR

Frontier VR

MakeVR

VR Home

Solitaire VR

Moriarty: Endgame (Walkthrough)

VR Arcade Saga

OuijaVR

Alcatraz: VR Escape Room

Let’s just add that HTC recently updated Viveport SDK with support for achievements, leaderboards, and in-app purchases which will allow VR developers to further improve their products. In meanwhile, we’ll keep on enjoying experiences on our HTC Vive (and Oculus Rifts).