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.
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.
“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.”
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.