One in three VR/AR projects in development will be platform-exclusive

HTC Vive remains developers' headset of choice in VRDC survey

31% of developers working on virtual or augmented reality projects currently intend to only release them on a single platform.

This is one of the takeaways from a new survey from the organisers behind this year's Virtual Reality Developers Conference. Out of 600 respondents, a third are working on platform-exclusive titles - a significant increase from the 10% reported in the 2016 survey.

The report suggests this might be so developers can gauge the chances of success for either that platform or the title, or perhaps in preparation to work on other platforms at a later date. Either way, it's an interesting trend given that exclusives currently make less commercial sense for developers due to the limited audiences of early adopters on each major VR platforms.

Of those making titles for a single platform, 35% were developing for HTC Vive - well ahead of Oculus Rift and Gear VR, which each secured 13% of participants.

In fact, HTC Vive remains the headset of choice for VR developers, with 56% of respondents currently working on projects for the Valve-funded virtual reality platform. Oculus Rift was a close second at 49%.

Oculus closes the gap when it comes to which platform developers intend to build their next title for, securing 50% of the vote vs HTC Vive's 52%.

And for all the talk of virtual reality presenting new opportunities to markets beyond the world of video games, it appears the majority of developers still focus on our industry. 78% of respondents classified their current or potential work in virtual or augmented realise as Games and Entertainment. Training and Education was the next biggest sector with 27%, while Branded Experiences - examples included car showrooms and vacation locations - are being developed by 19% of studios.

The 2017 Virtual Reality Developers Conference takes place from September 21st to 22nd in San Francisco.

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Latest comments (3)

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 3 years ago
I will say when I ask people whether they want to buy VR, right after price is uncertainty. They have no idea which platform is the "right" one, and $6-800 is too much to take a risk for most people.
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Christopher Dring Publisher, GamesIndustry.biz3 years ago
@Jeff Kleist: So HTC's approach of non-exclusivity might be the best option at this stage in the VR story?
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 3 years ago
@Christopher Dring: HTC has the backing of Valve, and they also have low investment in software. If they or Oculus pay for a game to be developed, then they should retain that right.

There is of course the swing toward the universal VR API, but the biggest issue in my opinion right now is the Oculus/Bethesda case. Oculus licenses their tech to Samsung, in fact I suspect, but do not know it's in Microsoft Mixed reality given their long relationship and the similarity on the hand controllers.

Room VR is not a thing at home outside of hardcore technology buffs, and that is a great deal of ehat drove early VIVE sales. Whether that will continue is a matter of debate, especially as Oculus is $200 cheaper and other solutions cheaper still. Price more than anything else drives mainstream adoption, and any or none of the existing solutions could be the eventual winner.

uncertainity is on a broad variety of subjects, and frankly if I were Microsoft I'd try to make X compatible eith as many as possible. Sony won't, and the sooner the better everyone works on the same page. Like direct X before it, a unifying set of protocols, whomever writes them is the best thing for moving forward, but people want to be confident the company whose tech and software they're spending a big chunk of change on will continue to be around to support it, and most of the mainstream, just as The PC makers Valve suckered into making their hardware found out with Steam boxes, don't know HTC except for their floundering phone business, and they don't know Oculus at all. Sony and Microsoft were able to enter the console business because they had established, recognizable names, and until these companies establish a far greater foothold than they have, the prices halve, and there is universal guidelines for the ecosystem, it's likely to continue to stagnate.
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