Starting in Spring 2017, you’ll be able to pay a flat monthly fee for VR games using the Viveport digital distribution platform. HTC calls itself the first ever global app store to announce a subscription service for VR content.
Announced at VRLA last summer, Viveport is somewhat of a parallel marketplace to Steam, featuring all-VR content across several genres, including information, edutainment, social media, 360˚ video, news, sports, health, travel and shopping. Some content is exclusively published on Viveport, such as the recently released The Physiology of the Eye (2016), an interactive training VR application.
Using the new subscription service, HTC says you’ll be able to download select titles from a curated pool of VR apps of their choosing, a nice idea if you’re new to VR and don’t know where to start once you’ve ripped through all the free and bundled content with your headset.
HTC hasn’t mentioned exactly what their “low monthly fee” will be, or when the service will drop, but we’ll be interested to see what the pool of apps looks like before we throw our money down.
“We’re happy to let VR fans know that the same way they discover and consume content through popular subscription services for music, films, TV and games is coming to virtual reality,” said Rikard Steiber, President of Viveport. “For developers, this is yet another opportunity for them to reach broader audiences – we want to give VR developers as many ways as possible to monetize and feature their content, and this is yet another channel for them to reach new customers on Viveport.”
HTC offers Viveport in two other flavors; a dedicated enterprise app store destined to be filled with VR tools for professionals in areas such as medicine, architecture, design, 3D modeling and workforce training; and Viveport Arcade platform, a digital storefront designed for arcades, cinemas, amusement parks and other location-based entertainment centers wanting to introduce their customers to VR.
HTC currently has more than 1,000 locations where Viveport Arcade is installed, and is expected to grow to more than 5,000 locations globally by the end of this year.
Early signups for Viveport’s subscription service free trails are currently available through the Viveport website.