The fight for supremacy in the world of virtual reality headsets was always going to be a particularly fierce one. There were a number of big hitters going into the battle for dominance in the VR market, with the Oculus Rift, Sony’s PlayStation VR, and HTC’s Vive headset standing up as the main forces in this new generation of VR gaming. However, it may well be that HTC will no longer be spearheading the Vive headset, with news surfacing that the company could be looking to sell off the Vive VR department to an outside party.
According to reports, HTC is currently reevaluating various parts of its business, following on from a difficult few years for the beleaguered company. Over the last five years, the market share for HTC in its previous stomping ground of mobile phone handsets has dropped by a massive 75%. As such, the HTC Vive may well fall under a different owner soon, with suggestions that Google parent company Alphabet Inc. may have already entered into discussions with HTC about taking on Vive.
HTC seems to be having a major overhaul, speaking with an advisor about the possibility of bringing in an outside investor for its VR headset. However, it’s unlikely that this is the first sign of a larger sale taking place, with instead suggestions that HTC as a whole is too large and expansive an operation to interest any single party. It’s also worth noting that apparently no firm decision has been made on the matter, so there’s a chance that Vive could remain in HTC’s hands when all this is over.
Although this news may come as a surprise to some gamers, those who have been following the Vive closely may have noticed some warning signs of late. For starters, the Vive headset recently saw a $200 price cut, with HTC claiming that it was to open up virtual reality gaming to a wider audience. However, given that the move followed on from further price reductions and the introduction of a Vive headset payment plan, many had been thinking about whether there was something else going on.
Moving into such new technology was always going to be a risky move, and it may well be that HTC has decided that it is not quite worth the hassle, considering the awkward financial situation that the company’s bread-and-butter departments are currently in. After all, VR still needs to make some big leaps forward to avoid what John Carmack of Oculus has stated about virtual reality coasting on novelty. Hopefully, should Vive be sold to another party, then those new owners will push on with making VR an important part of gaming for future years.