A brand new report by Bloomberg suggests HTC is getting critical about exploring its choices with its VR division, contemplating a “strategic investor, selling or spinning off its Vive virtual reality headset business.”
This has been rumored for a long time because the Android phone maker struggles for earnings whereas its Vive headset appears to be main the rising marketplace for VR headsets. In keeping with the report, there could also be no modifications to the technique going ahead as no selections have been made, however HTC has retained an adviser to discover the probabilities. HTC declined to remark, citing a coverage of not commenting “on rumor or speculation.”
One apparent potential purchaser or companion for the enterprise can be HTC’s software and analysis companion Valve. It could be extraordinarily unlikely given Valve’s risk-free method to the VR market that seeks to freely license its technology to a lot of companions, however it’s nonetheless worth pondering as a long-term strategic transfer for Valve.
Valve’s chief income driver is its business main Steam retailer, which takes roughly a 30 p.c reduce of the gross sales of the PC games offered by it. With VR’s arrival, Steam stays compatible with all the key PC-based headset platforms available together with the Oculus Rift, so there may be little threat to the corporate short-term.
Essentially the most immersive VR headsets, nevertheless, received’t keep PC-based ceaselessly as they transfer towards standalone options with built-in batteries, processors and monitoring know-how whereas getting snug sufficient for individuals to put on all day lengthy. Fb already indicated it’s engaged on multiple standalone systems to hit each high and low ends. Since Fb makes each the hardware and software in relation to Rift, the social media large can take a loss on hardware with a purpose to set up the Oculus software platform because the dominant means to purchase VR content material.
This might be a slow-rolling evolution over a lot of years so there may be time for Valve to alter course if it must, but when (or when?) VR software gross sales outgrow PC software gross sales, Fb may have the ability to in the end eclipse Valve’s enterprise.
As for HTC, the corporate is growing standalones of its own however up to now they appear to occupy a special class from the PC-based Vive. We’ll convey you updates on HTC as details emerge.