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HTC preparing to dive into mobile VR

CFO Chia-lin Chang promises that it's not simply "a phone slapped onto a headset"

According to some industry surveys, HTC is gaining ground in the VR market with its Vive headset but the Taiwanese firm isn't content to stand still while Oculus and Google move forward in the mobile VR space with Samsung Gear and Daydream, respectively. Some believe mobile will be the true trojan horse for virtual reality, and to that end, HTC has revealed in an interview with CNET, that it's planning its mobile VR entry soon.

"We have a good plan in terms of combining mobility with VR," said HTC Chief Financial Officer Chia-lin Chang. "Vive is very top end, and in the coming months you'll see our plans in terms of mobility and VR, and it's not a phone slapped onto a headset. It'd be a different thing."

The mobile VR device is expected to leverage HTC's new flagship phone, the U Ultra, and it should launch some time before 2017 comes to an end. For HTC and others, the novelty of virtual reality is beginning to fade, and in order for the hardware to sell it's going to be critical to have a breadth of compelling software. HTC is fully aware that it needs to foster more content creation for its own ecosystem.

Chairwoman and CEO Cher Wang commented, "We have learned much from our entrance into the world of virtual reality, and we believe our focused approach to building the ecosystem is the right strategy to enable the whole industry to expand through the creation of compelling content and rich experiences."

While Vive remains prohibitively expensive for the average consumer, a more affordable mobile VR option could widen HTC's installed base, and therefore make VR development a more compelling option for game studios in the long run.

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James Brightman


James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.