Oculus and HTC may skirt around the question of VR rivalry, but the development scene seems to suggest that some studios will be favoring the HTC Vive in the near future.
The Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC) organization today published a VR/AR Innovation Report ahead of the November event. The report gathers data collected from surveying more than 500 industry professionals working with both virtual and augmented realities, be it through games or experiences. In other words, it’s based on people that actually know VR rather that the wider development community, though it’s still not necessarily representative of the entire industry.
There’s a lot of interesting data to sift through, but arguably the most interesting statistics come from questions about what platforms VR devs are already working on and which they plan to work on in the future.
For example, 48.6% of developers said that they were working on the HTC Vive right now, while 43.2% said the same of the Oculus Rift. That’s not a hugely significant gap, but it only widens when developers were asked what platforms developers were looking at next. For that question, 34.6% said they were planning to work on the Vive, while only 23.4% said the Rift. That’s a much bigger difference, suggesting some developers are perhaps more optimistic about the future of Valve’s platform and HTC’s headset.
There are a few other interesting statistics to note out of that question. Despite the advent of Google Daydream, an upcoming high-end mobile VR ecosystem, it’s Google Cardboard that is the third most popular platform for future development. 14% of developers said they’re planning to work on the DIY headset, while only 3.7% selected its successor.
It also paints a bright picture for Microsoft’s HoloLens, with 6.5% of those surveyed saying they plan to work on it next. That figure even beats Sony’s PlayStation VR, which only had 3.7% saying they would create a new project for it.
The report does note, however, that a significant number of developers skipped answering this question, perhaps suggesting many studios haven’t committed to a second VR title yet. That’s completely understandable given the risky nature of creating content for tech with a low install base right now. Also note that some questions on the survey allowed multiple selections while others didn’t.
Another question asked developers whether their next title will be exclusive to a particular platform; a staggering 78.1% of them said their next title will not be exclusive. That’s somewhat surprising given Oculus and Sony’s push for exclusive content on their respective platforms, though also completely understandable when 49.7% of developers said they were funding their projects from their own pocket.
To end on a positive note; an overwhelming 95.5% of people said they believe either the VR or AR market will prove to be sustainable in the long term. That’s encouraging to see in these early days, though it’s arguably up to the people that aren’t sold on VR just yet to secure its future.