TIME Video Games

HTC Just Launched a Virtual Reality App Store With $1 Content

Josep Lago—AFP/Getty Images A visitor tests the new 'Vive steam VR' virtual device at the HTC stand on the second day of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 23, 2016.

Leading title prices slashed for 48-hour launch sale

HTC’s app store for its Vive virtual reality headset expands globally Friday after launching solely in China earlier this year. It’s called Viveport, and HTC says that for the next 48 hours (from 12:00 a.m. PT September 30), it’s marking “several marquee titles” down to a buck a piece. That includes stuff like Mars Odyssey, a normally $8 NASA Lander and Rover infused romp across the red planet, as well as Firebird – La Peri, an otherwise $10 visual fantasy set to French composer Paul Dukas’ ballet.

HTC’s teasing a mystery, too, obviously hoping to drum up social media followers: Keep tabs on the company’s hijinks, and it promises to “relay a secret message that will reopen a path to unlimited Viveport content for worthy contenders.”

Is an app store what HTC’s Vive headset needs to keep virtual reality’s momentum going? It can’t hurt. App stores both centralize and foreground otherwise heterogeneous content. And properly outfitted with inexpensive, discounted or demo-ready wares, they encourage experimentation and broader engagement, deepening our sense of a platform’s worth. Imagine iOS and Android without Apple or Google’s embarrassingly cornucopian repositories.

But isn’t Valve’s Steam already the Vive’s de facto app store? Sure. And it’ll stay that way for enthusiasts, with or without Viveport. But it’s also the opposite of Apple’s App Store or Google Play: not the place nontraditional-gaming VR neophytes might think to go rummaging for experiences like The Music Room, or The Grand Canyon, or Everest VR.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team