Taiwan-based smartphone brand HTC Corp. will take its first virtual reality headset HTC Vive to Tokyo Game Show 2016 to boost the global visibility of HTC’s VR development efforts. HTC said it will display its product in a special pavilion set up by the trade show to showcase VR gadgets from international brands.
The pavilion is part of the Tokyo Game Show’s initiative to feature emerging technologies such as VR development and artificial intelligence for the first time, consistent with the fair’s theme “entertainment is changing, the future is changing,” HTC said. The company said it will use the Tokyo Game Show, being held at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba from Sept. 15 to 18, to unveil new VR content for its HTC Vive, reflecting its ambition to penetrate the global VR market by developing content.
The Vive is one of HTC’s gambits to diversify away from its core smartphone market, which is saturated and intensely competitive, in the hope of generating a new revenue stream to turn around its money-losing business.
Jointly developed by HTC and U.S. video game supplier Valve, the HTC Vive was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) show in March 2015. The headset is equipped with tracked controllers that allow wearers to inspect objects from every angle and interact with their surroundings.
The Japanese market has been a high priority for HTC in marketing the Vive since the device went on sale globally in April, and it is now selling the Vive both online and through its physical distribution network in Japan. The HTC Vive has been demonstrated at 36 brick-and-mortar outlets in Japan since July 7, and HTC said consumers have been showing interest in the device.
The company said it plans to increase the number of retail distributors in Japan to 45 by the end of the year and to work with a number of hardware and software developers in Japan to broaden the Vive’s content portfolio. The partners include VR developers Epic Games Japan and Unity Technologies Japan, game software supplier Namco Bandai, VR content investor Colopl Next, and gaming website operator Gree.