Vive launching subscription service for VR apps

A monthly cybersubscription service offering a selection of VR experiences will launch for Vive cybergoggles tomorrow, HTC have announced. Tuesday, April 5th is the first birthday of HTC and Valve’s cyberbaby, which will be celebrated with a $100 discount on goggs for the day and the launch of the Viveport Subscription service. For $7 per month, Vivesport subs will let folks cyber as much as they please with five titles of their choice from a selection in HTC’s Viveport store. Given how many VR doodads are interesting experiences but seem expensive for an hour of waving your head, this sounds pretty neat.

The service doesn’t cover everything in the Viveport store, to be clear, but will launch with 45 apps/games/cyberings. These include gorgeous ocean world TheBlu, ice viewer Everest VR, the planetary scenes of Mars Odyssey, acrophobia simulator Richie’s Plank Experience, and Rube Goldberg device-building physics puzzler Fantastic Contraption.

HTC explain how it will work:

“Viveport Subscription customers pay $6.99 a month and choose five titles from an ever-growing library of curated content. They get unlimited access to the apps they choose or they can rotate out their selection every month. All apps in the subscription service are also available for sale, letting customers try an app before they decide to buy.”

All Vivers will get a one-month trial subscription free from tomorrow.

Also coming free tomorrow is a free copy of Arcade Saga, the first game made by HTC’s own Vive Studios. It’s three familiar vintage arcade games… in cyberspace!

Given that cybergoggles are better suited for bursts than marathons, and some of VR’s best bits are one-shot experiences, this all sounds quite sensible.

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8 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I still sorta waffle back and forth on which headset is the best choice.

    Vive has the big room-scale deal if I can clear space, but it’s stupidly expensive comparatively. It’s also Steam’s big product, which is nice, and ReVive or somesuch software evidently lets you play oculus titles on it.

    But then Oculus is cheaper and the Touch controllers look a bit nicer in the “tracks your hands” sense.

    But also there aren’t that many games and people suggest waiting for second gen hardware… but no such second gen has been announced yet.

    It is a mystery.

    • Eleven says:

      The second gen of headsets is rumoured to be arriving sometime in 2018, and I think it’s probably work waiting to see what they come up with.

      I have no less than three headsets for work related reasons, the HTC Vive, the Oculus CV1 and the DK2. They’ve pretty much sold me on the concept, but the hardware is not there yet. VR gives you a sense of scale and velocity that is unrivalled by any other creative medium, and also gives a unique sense of personal involvement. If normal games are like being in a movie, VR is like being in the theatre, it has a kind of intimacy to it. Zombies on a movie screen are boring, zombies in VR can get terrifyingly right up in your personal space.

      All of that said, the applications I have developed for VR have mostly fallen flat, partly because the current screen technology is far too low-res, and partly that today’s graphics cards can’t pump out enough pixels for the kind of visual fidelity to do it justice. VR headsets are also awkward and embarrassing, and somewhat anti-social. The problems of nausea are mostly solved, but they still cause some people discomfort from overuse.

      There are reportedly a whole heap of me-too headsets being developed to take advantage of the support in the Windows 10 Creator’s Update, and both HTC and Oculus are most certainly working on much improved headsets that will help solve some of the issues. VR is likely to get much cheaper and much better, and hopefully be more actually useful.

      • Premium User Badge

        Drib says:

        So, in short, “It’s neat but it’s still an early-adopter kind of thing”.

        I guess it’d be best not to drop $700 on what amounts to a toy. Still though, looks fun.

        Here’s hoping gen 2 stuff is all the better.

        • Sakkura says:

          Oculus strongly hinted that their gen 2 wouldn’t be until 2019. Of course someone else might jump the gun. But then it depends how we define a new gen.

          There will be more headsets coming just this year. The LG SteamVR headset, which could be sort of a half-gen update over the Vive, might make it by the end of this year but probably more likely for next year. Microsoft has their partner headsets coming out this year, but they might not be big strides forward (except in lowing the price at the low end, for a likely commensurate loss of quality/features).

    • crazyd says:

      I went with the Vive, and feel like I made the right choice. Roomscale applications are the best of VR, and I don’t want to financially support artificial exclusivity on PC.

  2. Uberwolfe says:

    Love my Rift.

  3. racccoon says:

    I see no point in VR, maybe robots yes, but current state its just an experiment for monetary gain.
    Its not a good play thing especially for long periods of time as with gaming.
    Some of us have the gift of eyes to see with.
    Let them focus normally and not be staring at a screen smack bang on your eyes!
    Isn’t it bad enough losing your vision normally!
    As with this old saying, “you never know what you had till its gone” So take care out there VR experimental people.

    • Hohumm4sh3d says:

      You sound like my mum and dad in the nineties saying my eyes will go square when looking at the tv for so long, and that it was bad for my eyesight, which time has proven was absolute toss.

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