The HTC Vive, arguably the leading premium virtual reality headset, has today had its very own app store launched. Following a private beta over the last few months, in which HTC tested and designed with developers and content creators, Viveport has now been launched globally.
The app store has been available in China since April but has now been launched with more than a dozen VR titles that, for the first time, are available outside of Asia. A big part of the launch is the announcement of Viveport Premieres – titles that will all have their initial launch on the Vive app store.
Among these Premier titles are games and experiences such as Everest VR, Google Spotlight Stories’ Pearl, Lifeliqe, Stonehenge VR, The Music Room and an all-new edition of theBlu. Additionally, to celebrate the launch of the store, during the first 48 hours you’ll be able to get some of the marquee titles like theBlu, Mars Odyssey, The Music Room and Firebird – La Peri for just $1.
Originally announced back in August, the company have said that they aim for the service to “democratize access to the world’s most diverse selection of immersive experiences by empowering all content creators to reach and engage the fast-growing global VR audience.”
The service is currently playing host to about 60 titles, covering a variety of categories including education, design, art, social, video, music, sports, health, fashion, travel, news, shopping and creativity tools. Viveport seems to be aimed at becoming the Steam of the VR platform – albeit in competition with the actual Steam – offering up a broad scale service designed to offer up the full range of potential VR experiences through one service.
In addition to Premieres, the store will also feature a Community where users can connect, as well as Viveport Home, offering a customisable space for streaming media.
With the Oculus Rift and Playstation VR both launching before the end of the year as well, the intention of Viveport as the first full service available is fairly clear and may well give them the edge on their nearest competitor, Rift.
While Playstation’s offering will undoubtedly work in a similar fashion to Viveport, running a service through the console, Rift’s experiences page does not currently have the angle of a solo platform in the way Viveport does, and may suffer by comparison as a result. The difference is being further made clear by Vive’s build-up of the potential of the platform and what customers may be able to gain from it, teasing the potential of free access to content.
“Any Day now we will Relay a secret message that will Reopen a path to unlimited Viveport content for worthy contenders,” Viveport president Rikard Steiber said, emphasising words that are presumably a clue of some sort. “We hope you will follow us on social media, install the Vive software, visit Viveport.com, and explore Vive Home over the next month as we unveil more clues and keys to unlock the treasures.