Viveport Goes “VR First” in Largest Update Yet Including New ‘Home’ & Content Previews

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Viveport, HTC’s VR content store for Vive, just received a significant overhaul aimed at improving content discovery and consumption.

The new ‘home’ area, which is based on spaceship platform, acts as a launchpad for the store’s games and experiences. I wasn’t allowed to go any farther into the spaceship that sat tantalizingly close behind me, but the company promised they’d have more to reveal soon.

image courtesy HTC

Couched as the “biggest upgrade to the Viveport customer experience since launch,” the content store now puts more focus on making content discovery easier from directly within the headset via special VR preview pages.

HTC gave us a chance to explore the new Viveport content store at the pre-CES press event where the new Vive Pro headset was first unveiled. Browsing through a number of games and experiences, I was able to either view a 360 photo captured from a game, or in some cases even explore rendered spaces replete with interactive objects and explorable areas. Walking around a preview of the Mars Odyssey experience, there were a few models to pick up and examine along with a small area to teleport around to get a better look at the dusty red surroundings.

image courtesy HTC

“It’s not a full fledged experience like the game,” says 2 Bears Studio developer Jason Epps. “What it does do is it allows [consumers] a chance to get in and get a sense of the games. It helps to separate [developers] from the pack and really allows people to get a good sense of your product without ever having purchased it.”

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Last year, HTC’s major contemporary Oculus opened up such a feature for Gear VR developers with the eventual goal of delivering those sorts of ‘VR tasters’ to Rift too at some point in 2018, although it seems HTC has beaten them to the punch.

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  • MechMouse

    Can you use a vive with Viveport with out installing Steam?

    • Matias Nassi

      Yes and No. You should install Steam at least once to download SteamVR from there (that’s the only way of distribution). Once SteamVR is installer you can uninstall Steam and just use Viveport.

      • MechMouse

        Thanks.
        I don’t get on with Steam and don’t use it.

        But really want to get into VR.

        • PRAR

          If your planning to game, not using steam will cut a massive amount of the market away from you, and with steam VR using the steam community workshop it allows you to get new home rooms (the place where you get put between game) and customize what your cameras and remotes look like in VR.

          • MechMouse

            I stopped using Steam about 3 years ago, I’m already excluded from the majority of PC games.

            Steam has restrictions which makes using it in a family environment limited, difficult and frustrating.

  • Courtney A Jeff

    Is there anyway to use this service with a oculus? Praise Jesus!

  • Lucidfeuer

    Is it a paid subscription service for having demos of games you don’t own at 40$? Or is it more like a PS+/XboxGold/HumbleMonthly subscription where you get a set of 5 games each month, in which case that might be interesting depending on curation.

  • Upsite Studios

    I love the immersive previews but i think the interface itself has one
    major flaw…. you spend half your time looking down at 45 degrees to
    choose the title you want to see which very quickly becomes
    uncomfortable with the weight of the Vive on the front of your face.

    It feels like they are trying to integrate 2 separate experiences into one (browsing titles & being in the viveport. I think they would work much better as two dedicated areas…. Load me up into the browser where the GUI is designed purely for ease of use, then let me step/teleport out into the “airport” area.

  • Cat of Many Faces

    Will it finally function? I’ve never been able to get viveport to work in the slightest…

    • PK

      it’s incredibly frustrating, i want to support viveport, i like the concept, but there’s so many issues getting it to work, every time i give it another chance it shuts me down and without a big update like this i wouldn’t try again for a while.

    • gothicvillas

      I struggled too. Gave up in the end.