HTC is considering selling off its VR operation according to Bloomberg News. It’s stated in the report that HTC is “working with an adviser as it considers bringing in a strategic investor, selling its Vive virtual reality headset business or spinning off the unit.” In addition, HTC has met with Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc., but the substance of those talks remains undisclosed. This is all based on unnamed sources speaking to Bloomberg.
HTC currently produces the Google Pixel smartphone, but its value has dropped around 75% from five years ago since it was usurped as a major player in the smartphone market. While the Vive is a fairly niche product in the PC gaming market, the VR platform managed to ship 190,000 units in the first quarter of this year. On top of pushing out plenty of VR headsets, HTC recently lowered the barrier of entry by cutting the price of the Vive by $200 USD (from $800 to $600) permanently.
The Vive launched with SteamVR as its software delivery platform, but HTC established Vive Studios–its own game publishing service–into the ecosystem back in December last year. Viveport Subscription, which launched in April this year, also allows users to subscribe for $7 a month to get access to over 200 VR games.
As for other VR platforms, Samsung sits atop the sales list with nearly 490,000 units shipped in Q1 2017, likely due to the Gear VR’s cheaper price and lower barrier to entry. Sony’s PlayStation VR comes in second with 429,000 units shipped in the same time frame, while HTC comes in third. Facebook, which owns the Oculus platform, comes in fourth with 99,300 units shipped.