HTC’s Netflix-esque VR subscription costs $6.99 per month

Everyone gets a free trial, and it’ll be available in a ‘couple weeks’

HTC is giving users of its Vive virtual reality headset access to a Netflix-like subscription service. Everyone who currently owns a Vive will get a free trial for a month, and the service will cost US $6.99 a month thereafter.

For that price, users will be able to pick out five virtual reality apps at the start of each month, including games and other interactive experiences. The service will be available in a "couple weeks," Rickard Steiber, the company’s senior vice president for virtual reality said during an interview at the Game Developers Conference Monday.

One benefit to consumers is that the subscription will give users an affordable way to try out titles every month, without requiring them to commit to a full retail purchase. The company had 14,000 people say they were interested in such a subscription after HTC announced it at the Consumer Electronics Show last month, Steiber said.

Once it's available, users will have to opt in for their free trial.

Developers also have to opt into the Viveport Subscription service, which will give them roughly $0.84 for each subscriber who picks one of their titles.

The subscription could stand to be a windfall for popular experiences and a boon to consumers who want to try new things in VR without paying full price. Developers also get an opportunity to stand out from the crowd of 1,300 games and other apps available for the Vive by making their titles available through the new service.

Developers could also choose to bring their app to the subscription service for a brief time to give users a taste of what it does, before pulling it to encourage them to buy the full retail version. Developers have to notify HTC 60 days before they want to remove the game, and users will have it removed from their library after that.

The subscription will be available to consumers worldwide. A survey collecting sign-ups for interested users offers a drop-down that supports 32 countries, including the U.S., U.K., China, Japan, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Denmark, Germany, and France. Countries may have different titles available, based on licensing restrictions and developers' choices.

The news came as the company announced pricing for the Vive Tracker hardware, which allows developers to track physical objects in virtual reality by attaching a special gizmo. One tracker costs $99, and they'll be available for developers to purchase on March 27.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags VR

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?