Oculus Quest Won’t Have Viveport Infinity, the Netflix for VR

Janko Roettgers

Facebook’s new Oculus Quest headset is set to launch with a series of notable games and experiences later this month — but one key service will be missing: Viveport Infinity, HTC’s Netflix-like VR subscription service, won’t be available on the device.

Viveport president Rikard Steiber first mentioned the missing support in a Reddit AMA interview Thursday, and a HTC spokesperson subsequently confirmed it to Variety.

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“We don’t have plans to support Oculus Quest at this time,” the spokesperson said via email. “Right now Viveport is focused on supporting PC VR and VIVE Wave devices.”

Viveport Infinity offers subscribers unlimited access to a catalog of more than 600 VR apps and games for $12.99 per month. This week, the service announced that it would soon also be available to owners of Facebook’s new Oculus Rift S and headset as well as Valve’s Index VR headset. HTC’s Viveport VR store, and a predecessor to Viveport Infinity, launched for Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset last summer.

PC-based headsets make it easy for users to simply download a separate app store or subscription service to their device. That’s a bit harder for mobile headsets, and Facebook’s developer terms of service make it clear that the company doesn’t want to help apps that effectively function as alternative app stores, with documentation on the Oculus developer site noting: “Apps in the Oculus Store must not contain other platforms or commerce solutions.”

An Oculus spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to questions about the impact these policies might have on VR subscription services.

The irony of those terms is that Oculus once found itself on the other side of such restrictions. Google doesn’t allow developers to distribute alternative app stores via Google Play either, which was a challenge to Facebook’s plans to bring the Oculus Store to mobile phones. Oculus circumvented those restrictions by partnering with Samsung for the Gear VR headset, a partnership that allowed the company to sideload the store and any VR apps sold with it to Samsung phones.

That’s a path that HTC could theoretically take as well, and Steiber’s latest remarks on Reddit suggest that the company is looking at such solutions. “Quest is a great device and we would love to support it in some way if it is possible,” he said during the AMA. “Once it launch(es) we will evaluate what the opportunities are.”

 

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