HTC recently confirmed that it will begin to sell a mobile VR product before the end of the year. HTC’s current VR option is called the Vive and is at the forefront of virtual reality technology, which unfortunately also comes with an expensive price tag. A mobile solution would allow HTC to tap an audience who can’t afford or doesn’t want to spend big bucks on a VR experience.
The product, which we imagine will be similar to Google Daydream or Samsung Gear VR, was recently confirmed by HTC CFO Chia-lin Chang. “We have a good plan in terms of combining mobility with VR,” Chang said, according to CNET. “Vive is very top end, and in the coming months you’ll see our plans in terms of mobility and VR, and it’s not a phone slapped onto a headset. It’d be a different thing. We’re a VR company, we’re going to have something.”
A new take on mobile VR?
Chang didn’t really describe what HTC’s mobile solution will entail, though the language is telling. Note how the executive said “it’s not a phone slapped onto a headset,” perhaps suggesting that HTC doesn’t really view Daydream or Gear VR as real compelling mobile solutions. HTC might have something else planned that doesn’t include placing a phone inside of a headset. That’s the easiest and probably the most affordable option, however.
It would make the most sense for HTC to simply build something based on Google’s Daydream platform, since developers are already creating apps. It hasn’t supported the platform yet — its new U Ultra smartphone won’t either — so maybe HTC is planning to go out on its own.
The headset is apparently due out sometime this year.