HTC has poured a lot of attention into its Viveport digital VR marketplace so far this year, recently launching a Netflix-style subscription service for it. Last week also brought several new features to the platform too.
HTC has released a new update to the Viveport software development kit (SDK), v1.5.1, that enables Unity developers to add a lot of new features to their experiences. That includes User Profiles, Stats & Achievements, Leaderboards and In-App Purchases. Many of these features are already available on Steam, which sells the vast majority of HTC Vive games, and on Oculus Home, the official marketplace for the Rift.
A blog post mentions that support for Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 is also on the way. We’ve reached out to HTC to ask when these features might hit that platform too.
Elsewhere HTC spoke a little about another SDK, this time for the VR Ad service it announced at the Vive Ecosystem Conference earlier in the year. Currently the service, which allows developers to further monetize their apps by placing advertisements inside the experience, is only available to Chinese developers, though HTC has made information about its SDK available to all. Again, we don’t know when the service will be available to developers across the world.
Earlier this month HTC confirmed to UploadVR that it had 100,000 users on Viveport on a weekly basis. It was then that the company pledged to bring more improvements to the platform, and this is a good first step.
“We accumulate all the feedback we get through all channels on a weekly basis and we look at where the pain points are,” Rikard Steiber, president of Viveport and senior vice president of VR at HTC. “It gets complicated…we’ve been at this for six months and we decided not to launch in just one market.”