Back in August, HTC announced that it would add support for the Oculus Rift to its Viveport Subscription service. Like the Oculus Store, Viveport is HTC’s method for distributing games and apps to its customer base without having to rely solely on a service like Steam and Steam VR.
But with that said, HTC is making the right move here. It isn’t clear which company has sold the most headsets to date between HTC and Oculus, though we know the PSVR has sold more than three million headsets total, making it the market leader in consumer VR in terms of unit shipments. But the Steam Hardware Survey’s now-corrected numbers suggest that 0.35 percent of customers own a Rift, 0.32 percent own a Vive, 0.05 percent have a Windows Mixed Reality headset, with the Vive Pro (0.01 percent) and Rift DK2 (0.01 percent) bringing up the rear. The implication here is that the two firms are fairly close — add up the bits, and Oculus-branded headsets are at 0.36 percent to 0.33 percent for HTC. These are not the kinds of numbers that sends analysts running to advise the game industry that the world is about to change.
But they are the kind of numbers that suggests an alliance between the two firms could be meaningfully useful in terms of expanding VR’s tiny market share. This is a point we’ve argued since it became clear virtual reality would be coming to market in the first place. While we understand that companies like Oculus and HTC want to build their own brands and domain presence, VR is not an easy hobby to enter right now. The more barriers to entry that these firms can remove, the better off everyone is going to be.
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