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HTC could be forced into a tough decision for VR

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Steven L. Kent
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Summary

  • HTC is no longer the weight in virtual reality
  • Towards a new direction for the virtual reality branch

HTC was one of the pioneers of virtual reality and even a benchmark in the field. Unfortunately, the company is dying and will have to reorient itself even if it means making a difficult decision.

In 2016, two virtual reality headsets for PC were released, the Vive and the Rift from Oculus at fairly similar prices. However, the Vive was better and considered at the time to be the Rolls of Virtual Reality headsets. The Taiwanese company exceeded moreover on sale to the subsidiary of Facebook. However, Oculus quickly regained ground notably thanks to successive and aggressive price cuts that the Asian company could not keep up with.



HTC is no longer the weight in virtual reality

Since that time, things have changed. Other competitors have experienced setbacks such as Google and its Daydream platform, Samsung and its Gear VR headset and even Microsoft with its Windows Mixed Reality headsets, which have met with mixed success. In this direct competition (if we exclude the PlayStation VR which only works on PS4), it is Oculus which has really drawn the first with the autonomous headsets with the Go then the Quest, real commercial success. HTC only belatedly released its Cosmos headset which, sold for $ 699, is having a hard time finding its audience.

The Vive Pro headset can only compete with the Rift S in the professional market and the Cosmos is shunned. It is therefore impossible for HTC to compete with Oculus in a price war and consumer products especially since the rest of the company with its telephony branch is also in a disastrous economic situation. The arrival of Frenchman Yves Maitre, the new boss of the company, is supposed to restore order to the house and restore the company to its reputation. However, this will require decisions to be taken that are sometimes painful.



Towards a new direction for the virtual reality branch

Avoiding CES 2020 and facing bleak prospects, HTC, however, has promised that it will soon announce its new vision for the Vive.. What to expect from this announcement? The company is highly unlikely to announce any new consumer virtual reality products. Especially since Oculus seems to have a good head start when it comes to research on this technology. It is therefore probably to professionals that the Taiwanese company should turn to continue to exist in VR.


This is also what our American colleagues think of the newspaper specializing in virtual reality, “Upload VR”. The latter think that “”. A decision that would move HTC away from the general public, no doubt leaving consumers in difficulty. However, again, the market is not free from competitors. There are various very high-end helmets, often several thousand dollars, intended for professionals including design and conception. HTC and its new boss will therefore have to walk on eggshells to find a place in the sun with companies.




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