HTC has made the pro-consumer move of partnering with popular DIY repair website iFixit to offer replacement parts, repair guides, and more for out-of-warranty headsets. The move contrasts with one of the company’s major competitors, Oculus, which has opted to quickly discontinue older headsets with little recourse for out-of-warranty DIY repairs.
HTC announced this week that it has partnered with iFixit to offer official replacement parts for the original Vive, Vive Pro, Vive Pro Eye, Vive Tracker, and base stations.
There’s 35 parts currently offered, even including some internal electronic components (like the Vive Sensor Array), external components like headphones and cables, and even minor items like individual screws.
iFixit is also providing detailed disassembly and repair guides for the headsets and controllers for those with the skills and patience to make their own repairs.
While there are parts of the headsets that aren’t offered (like lenses and displays), the availability of components and the knowledge offered through the disassembly and repair guides are a veritable treasure trove for DIY repairers hoping to keep their headsets up and running for years to come.
The offering contrasts with Oculus which has moved to quickly discontinued its older headsets, often meaning that basic replacement parts—like headphones, cables, and sensors—are simply unavailable to out-of-warranty headsets. HTC is going several steps further by offering not just the basics, but even internal and components, casings, and even many of the bits and bobs that keep its headsets together.
HTC has a good reason for betting on the longevity of its older headsets. While its latest VR headset, Cosmos, has hardly caught on, the original Vive headset still makes up a little more than 12% of active headsets on Steam, despite being released more than five years ago. Along with the Vive Pro, these older HTC headsets collectively make up nearly 15% of active headsets on Steam.