After launching the consumer HTC Vive in early 2016, the company began offering a $1,200 ‘Business Edition’ version of the headset which is essentially the same system but with dedicated support, an enhanced warranty, and bulk buying options. Going forward, however, the consumer and Business Edition systems will become increasingly differentiated products.

Speaking Alvin Wang Graylin, China Regional President of Vive, at CES last month, I asked if the company saw the need to create separate product lines to serve the needs of in-home VR use vs. out-of-home usage.

“We actually do, honestly. What we’re finding is that the business users are less price sensitive but they really care about other things like manageability, range of use, comfort for long term use, and other things” said Graylin. “So the kind of things that I think that were just [announced, like the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap], that’ll probably be adopted initially moreso by the business market than by the consumer. Wireless upgrade from TPCAST—were getting a lot of business and out out-of-home entertainment users who want to use that.”

vive-arcadeWith VR picking up in China’s out-of-home market in a significant way, non-consumer Vive usage may presently be outpacing that of the consumer in-home sector. Last month, HTC announced touted two major Vive initiatives focused on non-consumer sectors, Viewport Arcade and Viveport Enterprise.

Viveport Arcade is a dedicated app ecosystem and management platform that connects VR apps that are made for out-of-home play with VR arcade operators running pay-to-play HTC Vive setups. VR games made for out-of-home use are usually more ‘arcadey’, allowing quick pick-up-and play gameplay which is fun in short bursts, compared with in-home VR games where users may want a lengthy narrative, long play sessions, and persistent progression. Viveport Arcade also handles app purchasing/licensing in a way that’s built around the arcade business model.

Viveport Enterprise is a similar VR app ecosystem designed to bring VR productivity apps into businesses.

SEE ALSO
HTC Vive Exec Makes Predictions for the Next 2 Years of Virtual Reality

Between Viveport (the consumer version of their VR app store), Viveport Arcade, and Viveport Enterprise, HTC has identified and is beginning to serve these three segments in software, but when it comes to hardware, they’re all using the same headset, controllers, and tracking tech. But over time that will change.

“There will be increasingly more distinction between the Vive [consumer] and [business] versions over time and more manageability features in the software that’s needed by enterprise/business use,” Graylin tells Road to VR.

Vive-consumer-unboxing (68)And while out-of-home entertainment businesses are finding VR increasingly attractive, VR has huge potential in vertical markets but the complexity of today’s VR systems makes adoption harder in some verticals than others, an area that Graylin says HTC will focus on in 2017.

“The other thing that we’re gonna be working on this year is all about vertical industry stacks; essentially turnkey solutions that you can sell to medical, to education, to travel, or whatever. And I think that’s going to really open up and make it a lot easier for non-home users to adopt this technology.”

With that said, Graylin also suspects the industry will see next-gen VR headsets hitting the market every one to three years. So far the company has said very little about the next version of the Vive headset.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • OgreTactics

    Fragmentation of a non-existing market? Another great decision! Who the fuck orients decisions in these corporations?

    • Raphael

      It’s shocking how these big corporations comprising hundreds of people aren’t able to see what you can see. They really are incredibly stupid and would benefit greatly from your expertise.

      • OgreTactics

        I’m so unconfident or oblivious to the complex yet accessible possibility of thinking by myself, that I rather express my frustration by mocking someone with an argument whether it turns out to be right or wrong.

        • Raphael

          I’m confident your knowledge surpasses everyone at HTC and Valve.

          • ummm…

            so why do you think “fragmentation” is needed and a good strategy?

          • Raphael

            Because HTC sat down and decided it was a good strategy. I’m not involved in VR selling strategies so my opinion is irrelevant.

            I believe that HTC collective minds have a better idea where they need to go than me. But as a simpleton who hasn’t generated millions for any corporation I would say that there’s nothing wrong with having a pro VR division in the same way that Bohemia Interactive develop PC games and also military simulations (as an example).

          • ummm…

            im not sure the military is equivalent to arcade business in your analogy. Also, if you admit that you dont have the expertise or experience when it comes to strategic decisions and evaluation, then most of your comments and others should never have been made.

          • Raphael

            So we get back to the fact that you believe you’re a better strategist than HTC collectively…. Could you explain why that is so?

            Because you know that on the internet people like to disagree without really knowing why they’re doing it? It’s like this badge… If I disagree with HTC’s plans then I will appear to be very informed and very very very very very smart… The fact that you didn’t discuss your view with HTC worries me because you’re letting them steer towards potential disaster.

          • ummm…

            when did i say i was a better strategist. just quote me. after you do that we can continue the conversation.

          • Raphael

            I haven’t said fragmentation is a good strategy. HTC made the choice to separate consumer and pro vr. On a purely logical basis I reason that their decision is based on research and experience. My thinking it’s a bad idea would simply be me trying to show everyone that I think I know better than the collective minds of HTC. So I wouldn’t make a statement of the kind at the top of this tree to try and impress people.

            If I had the business knowledge and insight to see clearly that HTC were making a bad move then I wouldn’t be posting about it on a vr forum but rather I’d be in discussion with HTC about it or I’d be writing about it on a professional level.

            It’s an interesting observation how people become couch business professionals across the internet. I think there’s a high degree of automated reaction going on where people disagree with a company’s move without really knowing why or having the business prowess to back it up. It’s like saying you don’t like the colour red but not really knowing why. Just saying it for something to say.

          • OgreTactics

            “so my opinion is irrelevant”… The fact that you believe that HTC cannot make worst decision than any other people who could actually have the same job, or not even it doesn’t matter, shows you’re the kind of people incapable of thinking by yourself and rather think through other people, more specifically through other people’s status, “if they official then it must be true, if they 1 millions like then they must be right, if they have a brand then they must take only good decision….”

          • Raphael

            Yeah. The fact that you believe any decision you make about HTC must be right shows your the kind of “people” who pretends he knows everything but really knows nothing.

            There is a phenomenon and it’s especially prevalent amongst the male species (since they’re generally much more egotistical) to disagree with something just to look intelligent. It’s all fluff of course because they’re really totally ignorant about that which they squeak and could never sit on a board of directors or make their own ice cream.

          • OgreTactics

            I don’t make decisions at HTC, I don’t work for HTC. I do sit in a board of directors, I do look or rather sound intelligent but only to people intelligent enough to asses the amount to which I’m right or wrong, and these people work in brands, corporations or agencies some of which you know of. And I’m not even interested in what you do because the way you think is an indicator that you’re an irrelevant executant somewhere at best, thankfully not someone who has any consulting, directing or decision-making role, although that’s the best I wish to you.

          • Raphael

            Board of directors at a kaaswinkel.

          • Raphael

            Also. Looks like you’re lecturing on business strategy quite a lot. You also had a big pile of bollocks to say about vr:

            “Lucidfer Alex Smith 31 minutes ago
            Or I should just do my job and tell the hard prospective truth I believe in? I’m not saying that VR is a fad, I’m saying most headset are crap that are no better and as unfinished as 90s VR headset and this is the reason why it doesn’t and won’t sell to the consumer public. Period.
            This is call to take a step back and realise that after the first amazement of a DK1 headset, you realise more and more that the product being sold are actual unfinished, badly conceived crap, that will NOT take-of as long as they’re not made as well as the iPhone for what it’s supposed to be.
            Reply View in discussion
            Lucidfer
            Lucidfer a day ago”

            With that statement its clear you’re clueless on vr.

            Around 2007 I owned an iO systems pc3d. LCD with such poor contrast that black wasn’t an option and any game with lots of textures was so fuzzy it was unplayable. No head tracking. No life-size 3d visuals.

            Since the 90s: surface mount technology, micro-controllers, massive increase in clock frequencies, processing power, display technology, solid state lasers, miniature precision stepper motors, 3d graphics cards. In the space of a few years we’ve gone from 640 x 480 per eye to 1200 x 1200 with wireless motion controls and this year we see wireless hmd technology.

            All of this increase in performance has come with a gradual fall in cost to the point where HTC Vive and Octopus cv1 represent the lowest cost and most advanced consumer vr in the history of vr. It’s still not cheap enough to escape niche peripheral market but the changes since the 90s are extensive.

            In the space of two years we’ve gone from duct tape to consumer vr with AAA game development. Gpus are now built to work with vr.

            I’m willing to bet money that you will try and justify your ignorant ill-informed bollocks about vr hardly changing since the 90s.

          • OgreTactics

            I won’t. 150k Oculus sold and 200k Vive sold, at most. That’s all I need to say. I look at number, then I look at actual conception strategy inferred from actual products and PR releases, and I compare them with marketing strategy, consumer behaviour, consumer technology matrices, and further orient them with client, amateurs and consumers in-depth feedback interviews (like, once the initial impression fades out, how do they define VR, do they want to use VR, will they use it everyday etc…and boy the amazement fades as soon as we’re talking about actually buying it and real-life everyday usage)

            So any way you look at it, these numbers are not just a huge random failure, they’re explained by the fact that that 2010s VR HMDs are just more advanced “Palms” than 90s VR HMDs/Palms…

          • Raphael

            Yes, so it didn’t take me long to sniff out an anti-vr troll. Now the thing about “your people” (yes I borrow your bad grammar) is that while you hate vr and spend your days telling everyone how it failed. You spend your days talking about vr and how it failed. Shall I repeat that? So you hate vr and yet here you are on a vr site bitching about vr.

            So you spend your days trolling any vr related features and telling everyone how vr failed. If vr was a failure you wouldn’t feel the need to troll vr websites bitching about how it failed. Right?

            “your people” don’t understand the psychology driving your need to discuss vr all the time. Your narcissism will prevent you from understanding the significance so I will use an analogy: so every day Lucifer (yes I know you think you’re a bad bad vr hater) goes to a gay bar and tells people he’s not gay and that gay wrong. So it’s pretty clear by his presence that a: he likes alcohol and b: he’s gay. So you my little satanic Muppet are pretending you don’t want vr and yet your actions are where the truth lies.

            “and boy the amazement fades as soon as we’re talking about actually buying it and real-life everyday usage)” – whose amazement? Your friends and family?

            “150k Oculus sold and 200k Vive sold, at most. ” – yes that cliche argument “your people” (trolls who want vr and spend their time on vr sites pretending they don’t) for some bizarre Muppet reason your people all believe that gen 1 consumer vr was intended to sell to every PC and console user and pretty much everyone and has thus failed?

            Do you really think octopus and valve believed vr was gonna reach full adoption at 800 plus? It hasn’t occurred to your tiny troll brain that gen one vr isn’t intended to reach full adoption at those prices. It’s a niche peripheral at this stage. Gen 2 will be slightly cheaper but will still be out of your price range and still beyond mass market. However. Vr is now something many more people are aware of and interested in so that prepares them for future more affordable systems.

            You’re actually too dumb to argue with. You ain’t Lucifer and you ain’t very lucid either. Now toddle on with your cliche anti-vr bollocks. It’s tedious to listen to.

          • OgreTactics

            I struck a cord, you lost, too bad. This wasn’t much fun actually, you are completely off mark (you must be one unperceptive and limited guy to use the “troll” or “hater” argument in 2017), I managed to get the full picture of you, the “alt-left” liberal executant geek.

          • Raphael

            If you could spell “chord” you might have a case. “executant” – you seem to like that word a lot. As with magic spellls, drugs or alcohol, try not to overuse it.

            Liberal geek? That’s a horrendous insult to throw at someone but you do have my full picture so I guess it’s fully warranted.

            You do realise the 10 to 15 years isn’t up yet so why are you wasting time on a tech you have nothing but disdain for?

            It’s like hanging out at that gay bar telling people you ain’t gay.

          • OgreTactics

            What if the bar is “gay-friendly”?

            The 10-15 years isn’t up yet, but neither are the next 2/3 years for VR to pick-up either before we have to wait another cycle yet.

            As for my spelling, I guess you’re not worth the extra calories my fingers would waste typing a correction.

          • JoeD

            Right, because the military is magical.

          • craylon

            or maybe they had a few managers twiddeling their thumbs in need of a position to lead some department….

          • Raphael

            They could have been drunk on saki.

    • killdozer

      Try to reread article, with comprehension

      • OgreTactics

        Did, nothing changed.

        • JoeD

          We can only assume you read. We can’t assume you comprehended.

          • OgreTactics

            You could assume anything from there. However I can state for a fact that not only you didn’t comprehend the implications of the article therefor you didn’t understand my pretty unsurprising criticism

          • Raphael

            You claim to sit on a board of directors… is the board on vacation?

      • Raphael

        U can lead a horse to water… but u can’t make him comprehend business.

    • Mike

      I think it’s a great idea – it’s likely to be a much better headset, and consumers with the money to blow would surely be able to buy one. I would pay $1200 for a 4K Vive that’s more comfortable than the current one. I don’t think it will cause any fragmentation.

      • OgreTactics

        If you willing to pay 1200$ for just a 4K headset, your opinion is irrelevant since you’ll most likely buy any shit that’s sold through your followed ad/media/social channel.

    • Caven

      They did say it was a change that would happen over time. Just because there isn’t enough market for fragmentation now, doesn’t mean that will still be true a few years down the line. Planning for the future isn’t an automatic sign of idiocy.

      • OgreTactics

        No indeed, I can hear that for an hypothetical future, but I personally find ANY kind of fragmentation a strategic non-sense, including iPhone and iPhone Plus (which Jobs would never have done for exemple). The difference is they already sold folds of millions of them before fragmenting, not barely 200k.

        • Raphael

          You’re quite the business strategist aren’t you? Certainly impressing everyone with your superior knowledge.

          • OgreTactics

            You’re a fucking loser, you’re not impressing anyone with your lowly 2015 sarcastic response to fill your argumentational void.

  • praveen nadaraju

    Turn key educational content is still lacking. The older users will not see benefit from the current models of content. Yes, younger age groups can benefit from solutions. The older require more sophisticated real world applications which are results driven like deepstreamvr’s system. A terrific solution does exist but will take a team effort and funding to see through. The elements for proposal of such content exist. Give me a ring ;)

  • Get Schwifty!

    I understand the need for different support options for different applications, this is no different than say using Word at home vs. supporting Word in an enterprise space.

    OTOH, I think the references to the different strap and the wireless are kind of off the cuff remarks, the home market will undoubtedly move on these and they will in short time become part of the standard Vive package, so I think they were more for example.

    Increased range via wireless, and perhaps a significantly more expensive headset for engineering/medical vs. the “home” one is almost guaranteed as those applications need significantly higher resolutions (along with systems and bandwidth) to be effective than even high end gaming. This is not at all unlike the use of high end monitors in engineering workstations today vs. the scads of home users using lowly HD monitors… what I think will surprise them is the number of “home” users who would be willing to shell out for the very best resolution headset they can get if they can manage the price.

  • JustNiz

    I dont mind them having different quality headsets for consumer and business, just as long as they dont presume all gamers are necessarily gonna but the cheap one so only have the cheap headset support gaming. The business headset has to have at least all the functionality of the consumer one.

    I want (and can afford) a headset with the best currently available resolution, lenses and comfort (regardless of its intended market and price), which no doubt will end up being the hardware they call the business version, even though I will be using it almost exclusively for gaming. I really don’t give a toss about all the extra support or whatever that the business one comes with so would prefer an option to not pay for that.

  • Doggo

    Worst idea in existence. The market of games around the consumer version is already flatlining due to poor sales, and now you want to lessen the amount of consumer units by splitting the manufacturing, and up the prices as well. This business is going to take a large hit very soon.

  • Raphael

    A word on the doom and gloom rhetoric of people who “hate VR”:

    We’ve all read statements along the lines of:

    “200k vive sold… failure”
    “vr is dead because it’s too expensive”
    “vr failed in the 90’s and will fail again”
    “just look what happened to kinect”
    “vr is just a tv strapped to your head”
    “it’s 3d TV all over again”
    “it’s hardly improved since the 70’s” (yes someone said that a few days ago on facebook).
    “it’s hardly improved since the 90’s”
    “it has no games only tech demos”
    “it has no games”
    “vr will only be usable 20 years from now” (yes this was another statement someone made last year).
    “the resolution is only 800 x 600” (someone said this about Vive).
    “it’s been a few years and still no 8k per eye VR”
    “vr is unusable and will remain so for at least 20 years” (I don’t know why but the 20 years figure seems to be popular).

    The above are all generic anti-vr statements posted across various forums over the past few years.

    What’s the driving force behind statements like this?

    I believe there are two distinct categories:

    1: Genuinely lacking knowledge about VR tech,

    2: Understands VR (to some degree) and spends a lot of time across various internet forums ranting about it.

    An example of the first I can recall from last year: “I can make a VR system out of an xbox and a TV if I want”.

    Another example: “VR is fake because it relies on two miniature displays to create a 3d image” (yes this is a quote from someone ranting about VR in 2016).

    “VR is just a TV strapped to your head” (quote from someone two years ago).

    The above examples would fit into the first category of genuinely lacking knowledge about VR.

    A few years ago during the duct-tape VR period; the first category was much more evident across gaming sites and forums. Now a few years on (into the consumer VR phase) and the second category is the one that’s much more commonplace.

    People who fall into the second category seemingly resent VR and have nothing good to say about it but tellingly (actions speak louder than words) their time is spent complaining about VR (and so it’s clear that VR is something they’re thinking about rather a lot).

    Listening to people from the second category in particular can be quite depressing to read (after all, the rhetoric is always negative and hostile to VR).

    Generic rhetoric:

    It’s almost as if there’s a book out there: “Idiot’s guide to ranting about VR – stock phrases you can use to spread doom & gloom”

    The second category relies heavily on quoting widely circulated sales for Vive and CV1. What’s clear about such statements is that they seem to believe that generation one consumer VR was somehow expected to reach full adoption and has thus failed because “only 200k Vive sold”.

    Fact: Gen one VR was never expected to reach mass adoption because the price is far beyond the reach of most gamers. I will state that even if Oculus had priced CV1 at $300 with Touch it still wouldn’t have reached mass adoption (it would have reached a wider segment of the market of course but still far from full consumer adoption).

    Gen one pricing makes it a niche-peripheral. Valve/HTC and Oculus aren’t stupid. They have some idea of where pricing needs to go for full adoption and we are still some years away from that target.

    Rather than react to some of the anti-vr rhetoric listed above… I think it’s more constructive simply to say that:

    In the space of a few years we’ve gone from cardboard and duct-tape 640 x 480 experimental to 1200 x 1200 per eye 90hz, room-scale tracking with integration into the major game engines and with AAA publishers releasing games and some great games from new indie developers.

    We now have Nvidia and ATI hardware accelerating VR across their mid to high range of GPUs.

    We have Microsoft making VR and AR part of windows.

    VR is a rapidly expanding market with colossal amounts of funding.

    In the space of a few years we’ve gone from people being ridiculed on forums for asking a developer to add VR support to a game, to discussing which type of locomotion a new game should have…

    There is something that no one in either of the two categories above is aware of:

    VR is an inevitable technology which means that in spite of any momentary dips across the sales curve… The development curve will continue on an upward trend and the price will continue on a downward curve.

    Why is VR an inevitable technology?

    Because there is no other way of bringing people into computer generated worlds in such an efficient way. We are a long way off from star trek holodecks and let’s remember that not everyone has the space for a holodeck.

    VR even at this stage is an imax-beater that fits on your head (Imax recognised this quite quickly hence the shift into Imax VR). It’s not all about pixel resolution… what we lose in pixel resolution at this stage we gain in stereoscopic depth. So although we don’t have 4k VR, this is offset by the addition of stereoscopic depth and being able to look all around with life-size imagery.

    This is why it’s increasingly common to read statements like: “I only play games in VR now” or “I could never return to triple monitor non-vr setup”.

    So remember… the first category genuinely doesn’t know what VR is… The second category has some idea and tends to be insanely jealous and resentful because it’s priced beyond their reach.

    VR is an inevitable technology.

    • OgreTactics

      “VR is an inevitable technology.” it is. But when? In 10-15 years from now certainly, but for the previous back to current years? Not sure with losers like you, pretty much the same kind as Wii U fanboys despite failure being in front of your eyes, and Apple fanboys pretty soon.

      And while you try to rationalise some simple fantasised VR public with your tinfoil hat, I’m going back sending an actual 30 pages marketing/forecasting/budgeting study as a reminder to account directors in ad agencies as to why they should invest in VR experiences.

      • Raphael

        Category 2… So the question is why are you spending your time trolling a VR site for a technology you believe isn’t worthy of your attention for another 10 to 15 years?

        Not the brightest button are you.

        I’m here because I’ve owned VR tech since 2007. I owned DK2 for a year and used it pretty much every day. Now own Vive and use it on a daily basis. So I would say it makes sense for me to visit here.

        Now you on the other hand… hostile to VR… full of cliche anti-vr rhetoric and full of doom and whiney misery about VR… And yet somehow you can’t stay away from VR sites can you?

        As I said previously… category 2 is fueled largely by jealous rage.

        • OgreTactics

          You’re not even replying to the actual content of my response, you must like me too much to drop your non-sensical unbacked statements. Do I intrigue you that much?

          • Raphael

            Intrigue probably isn’t the best word… Bored of your fake-boardroom strategy bollocks and your generic cliche rhetoric about VR and how it’s barely changed since the 90’s. You’re a non-vr troll spending your time thinking about vr… it’s all generic stuff.

            If VR isn’t good enough for your super-entitled ego for another 15 years then why the feck are you wasting your time here? You can understand that while you rant bitterly about vr barely changing since the 90’s and how it’s a failure that clearly you’re not able to pull yourself away from VR sites.