HTC has launched a new virtual reality portal to promote and market content for its Vive VR platform. Viveport is a global virtual reality app store that allows users to create their own VR spaces to hang out in while exploring exclusive content across art, creativity tools, design, education, fashion, music, sports, travel and 360-degree video that will debut there first.
Available in over 30 countries, Viveport serves as a first window into virtual reality with a wide variety of content. The portal will open new opportunities for brands to connect with VR users right out of the gate. Additionally, there’s a community feature for VR fans, influencers and enthusiasts to gather.
Rikard Steiber, president of Viveport, explains how this app store has been designed to cater to the growing global VR audience in this exclusive interview.
What role do you see this new Viveport hub playing across video game and entertainment content for Vive?
We believe Viveport is the place where people will start their journey into new virtual reality experiences. Fans globally will join us on a fantastic voyage as they get to experience amazing VR apps published by the best content creators in the industry.
Building on the fast growth and success of great VR games, 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. Our mission is 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.
How deep a library of entertainment is available at launch and how are you selecting what kind of content to feature on Viveport?
On the Vive platform, there are over 500 titles available today, almost all games. On Viveport we will launch with over 60 titles, of which over a dozen are titles that have never been published before outside of Asia. We are also introducing Viveport Premieres, which consist of content launching first on Viveport. During our launch week Everest VR, Google Spotlight Story: Pearl, Lifeliqe, Stonehenge, Music Room, an all-new edition of theBlu, and many more experiences will be available. Developers want to launch with Viveport first because they get good featuring and marketing from us. We do not do exclusive deals with developers.
How has Valve been involved with Viveport and how does it integrate with SteamVR?
From the start, we worked very closely with Valve and even have a “Steam Games We Love” section on Viveport. Viveport is totally integrated into Steam VR and people can discover and buy new content both on the web store.
How much customization is there for the personal space in Vive Home?
We are just getting started, but today you can customize the 3D surroundings, add virtual objects and widgets. The video player and web browser widgets that enable people to watch streaming videos, news or sports in an IMAX-size format will be initial use cases. We are looking to make the space social and more interactive in the coming months.
What opportunities does Vive Home open up for everything from sports teams to brands?
Fans can customize their Home Space with the colors of their favorite teams, and enjoy video, social and sports statistics in a completely new way. Soon you will be teleporting yourself to front row seats; this is just the beginning.
What streaming VR services are you offering through Vive Home?
We are open to all streaming services today as long as they can provide people with a good user experience – you can find 360-video content from sports, travel, music, news and more.
How are you using social media to connect with Vive owners?
Social, connecting and sharing with friends is a key element in all VR experiences. We see both dedicated experiences like Alt Space and Surreal, as well as social features in many of the VR applications launching today.
What type of content can they unlock for free on this store?
Everything imaginable and unimaginable. There are many free apps on Viveport today and more is coming.
What opportunities does Viveport open up as a gateway to the new types of branded content created in 360-degree video and virtual reality?
Virtual reality is perfect for branded content. VR is the most immersive, memorable and interactive experience, and a perfect way to experience branded content. 360-degree video will soon become high-quality interactive experiences. The linear stories today are only the beginning of what it will become available in the coming year.
What has Vive opened up to enterprise industries?
Today, we are working with many retail brands like the leading car manufacturers that enable people to build and drive their future cars in VR. This will extend to travel, housing, fashion, and as a Swede, I cannot wait to buy my IKEA furniture in VR.
What role do you see having HTC Vive and VR games in arcades and entertainment centers playing in getting people interested in this platform?
Experiencing VR in public spaces will be a huge market, especially in China. We are already looking to help developers reach a massive audience in VR arcades this year. VR arcades will for many people be the first way they test true high-end VR experiences like the Vive.