HTC wants to “officially introduce” developers to the HTC Vive at its Chinese conference

by Will Mason • December 4th, 2015

China’s virtual reality market is growing, with only a few high-quality VR projects and a number of big names getting into the space. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why HTC, a Taiwanese company, and Valve chose Bejing to host the HTC Vive’s first official developers conference this month.

Currently, there are still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the headset, namely, what does the consumer version look like and when will we see it released? Well we may be getting closer to some clarity.

“There will be some news [at the conference]” HTC’s Vice President, Raymond Pao, told UploadVR adding, however, that it “might not be about products.”

“We want to meet developers in mid-December and officially introduce HTC Vive to them,” he said, “we put a great emphasis on the Mainland [Chinese] market.”

This is not HTC’s first event for the Vive in Mainland China, which makes the “officially introduce” comment interesting. In August, HTC held a hackathon for the Vive in Shanghai which was attended by over 40 developers. Since then the company has set up public demos in Shanghai and Beijing as well, so the Vive has had a presence there before.

A scene from the HTC Vive hackathon in Shanghai earlier this year.

A scene from the HTC Vive hackathon in Shanghai earlier this year.

Recently, an HTC representative potentially hinted that the HTC Vive may be delayed until next year telling RTE News, “we’re gonna be launching it early next year, so we’re gonna be making some proper announcements in the coming weeks.” This goes against the rhetoric that HTC has been saying since the product was announced, but with the days of the calendar flying by a delay is seeming more and more likely.

Read More: HTC Vive Marketing Head Leaves for Magic Leap 

Personally, I think a delay makes some sense. I have had the opportunity to experience the Vive in a number of different types of spaces from offices to living rooms and the various demo kits I have tried were not ready for primetime, not quite. While the Vive’s tracking is robust, there are some sore points. For instance, it has trouble with reflective surfaces like the windows in your house. These surfaces can cause problems with the tracking on the headset, but most notably in my experience with the wireless versions of the HTC Vive controllers. Speaking with a number of developers many have described the tracking problems on the wireless controllers as a “pain in the ass.” Valve has told developers that they are working on this issue, and it has gotten considerably better since I first began trying the Vive this year, but it still remains a bit of a problem.

HTC developer conference speakers

HTC’s developer conference begins December 18th and runs through the 20th, with public demos open on the 19th and 20th. There will be a number of experts in the technology and gaming industry in attendance, including Valve’s Chet Faliszek, WEVR CEO Neville Spiteri, and Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada, as well as many senior developers from HTC. You can find out more and register for the conference on its website.

So will we finally get to see the final HTC Vive this month? Only time will tell. UploadVR will be in attendance at the conference and will report back with more, so stay tuned.

Additional reporting by Oval Po



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