HTC, one of the leading Taiwanese tech mammoths, plans to open hundreds of virtual reality arcade centers across Taiwan, China, the United States and Europe under its “Viveport Arcade” program.
The company is developing virtual reality games for its VR devices and hopes the gaming arcades will serve to promote its virtual reality Vive headset, according to The Taipei Times.
HTC, which is well known for its smartphones, will compete with other manufacturers of virtual reality headsets like Sony, in a somewhat limited market.
The Taiwanese tech giant wishes to enlarge its Viveport Arcade program centers, theatres, cyber cafes etc. They will be introducing a wide range of games and other virtual reality-experiences at reasonable and accessible prices. They have also collaborated with cyber cafes in China to promote the use of VR in the country.
It will initially be launched in China and Taiwan and will gradually be expanded to the U.S. and other European countries. HTC’s Vive VR headset has launched its own PC app store called Viveport; a sale has been announced that reduced the price of the software to a mere $1.
“Viveport features immersive experiences across additional categories where you can explore new worlds, create things, connect with friends and experience stories in new, immersive ways,” the Vive team stated in its blog post.
The optimum intent and ambition of the programme, according to HTC, is to propagate and support a healthy and vibrant ecosystem for its Vive VR headset.
HTC also claimed that Viveport will delegate developers and content creators to update the experience.
The program seeks to provide other services other than gaming such as educating about the technology and initiating and interconnecting with entrepreneurs and start-ups throughout the world. Start-ups would be assisted with relevant mentorship and investment.
Virtual Reality can be used not only for gaming and entertainment but also for education purposes in the future.
“What we learn from textbooks or labs can be really dull, but VR and AR will greatly enhance learning abilities It can also be used in e-commerce. In the future, you will step into a real scene, you can see the products on the shelves, touch and feel them. So our shopping experience will totally change.,” Zhu Bo, founder of InnoValley, a Chinese start-up investor in Shenzhen, said to to AFP.
Sony is also launching its PlayStation VR headgear later this year, and Google is also set to come up with a new VR platform called Daydream.