Good News: HTC’s New VR App Store Isn’t Just for Gamers
One of the big strengths of the HTC Vive VR headset is that it uses SteamVR as its main content pipeline. Steam is a mature, well-stocked gaming platform with a huge community, giving the Vive a significant advantage over the Oculus Rift in these early stages of the VR revolution.
But VR isn’t all about games, and SteamVR isn’t the best fit for non-game developers who want to offer their own VR creations for the Vive. Soon, they’ll have a new place to do so: The Viveport, an app store that will focus on non-gaming content like video, art, educational content, travel, shopping, and experimental projects.
Viveport launched earlier this year in China, and the app marketplace will be available globally starting this fall. HTC is trying to woo developers to register for the platform, access the appropriate plugins and SDKs, and help develop new apps for Viveport. Like your plain ol’ 2D app ecosystem, the Viveport SDK will support paid downloads and in-app purchases.
Accord to Rikard Steiber, HTC senior vice president of virtual reality, Viveport isn’t meant to replace SteamVR, which is a good thing. It’s just meant to cover content other than games. “We want to shine the light on different types of VR applications,” he says.
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