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HTC Announces Viveport VR App Store

In a bid to highlight immersive virtual reality experiences outside of games, HTC has announced Viveport, a new app store for its Vive headset. While Steam will remain the place to go for Vive VR games, Viveport will serve as your one-stop shop for things like education, travel, news and a wide variety of other experiences. It'll be available on the web, mobile, Windows and, of course, right from within the Vive. HTC is launching a developer beta for Viveport soon (sign up for access here), and it plans to release it to consumers later this fall.

"We strongly believe VR is going to change the world for the better, for both consumers and businesses alike," said Rikard Steiber, HTC's senior VP of virtual reality. "We believe it'll democratize access to experiences, now anyone can travel anywhere and learn anything in any way."

The store will also be accessible through browsers, and via PC and mobile apps, and that's the second way in which the Viveport is an open platform. According to HTC, the content on the Viveport will not be exclusive to the Vive.

"We want to reach audiences on all devices and platforms," an HTC executive explained. "We are on the Vive right now, and we will look at adding support for more platforms." Also, while some of the content on Viveport would not work properly on its big rival, the Rift, that's because Oculus' offering does not support room-scale tracking in the same way. The seated 360-degree experiences should work in much the same way on both devices. That's a far cry from the Rift, which Facebook-owned Oculus was initially trying to lock down. You couldn't even run Rift games on the Vive, which changed only after fan outrage. In contrast, HTC seems more willing to embrace an 'open' world.

"We believe equal access to virtual reality experiences will make the world a better place; enhancing our daily lives and the way we connect with everything. An important goal for the Viveport team is to enable developers to reach a global audience and grow their business," said Rikard Steiber, Senior Vice President of Viveport.

The company will also be rolling out all content globally, so as long as you're in a country where the Vive is officially being sold, the Viveport and all the content it sells will be accessible too.