HTC may be getting out of the VR business. According to a Bloomberg report, the smartphone maker is exploring a number of paths forward, including the possible sale or spin-off of the Vive virtual reality business.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that HTC has enlisted a strategic advisor to go over a number of scenarios, with the separation of the Vive division being just one possibility. The company is also considering selling itself outright, although one of Bloomberg's sources said it was less likely it could fine one acquisition partner that would want the entire operation. HTC is also considering pursuing additional investment.
The report specifies that these scenarios are all just possibilities at the moment, and that HTC may decide to continue on as is.
For its fiscal 2016, HTC posted full-year losses of NT$15.5 billion ($513 million). The company's share price has been sliding since 2011, when its fiscal full-year saw net income of NT$62.3 billion ($2.1 billion).
Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz at June's Electronic Entertainment Expo, HTC's GM of Vive Dan O'Brien said that the company had been meeting its targets for Vive unit sales, and noted that the Vive and its games were the revenue leader in VR for 2016. That status was no doubt attributable in part to Vive having the highest retail price among major VR headsets, but even that sticking point is coming down. Earlier this week, HTC cut the price of the Vive headset and controller bundle to $599.
Through the first half of 2017, tracking firm Superdata put the Vive's installed base at 667,000 units. The less-expensive Oculus Rift sat at 383,000 units, while the most affordable of the three major enthusiast options, PlayStation VR, had surpassed 1.8 million headsets sold.