Vive Video, a new virtual reality (VR) video player for the HTC Vive headset launched on Viveport earlier this week. While the app isn't the first one of its kind, HTC is hoping users will give it a chance due to the number of features it's packing and various formats it's supporting. Vive Video is compatible with all 2D and 3D content, as well as 180-degree and 360-degree videos. The app was designed as a VR home theater experience that's both immersive and versatile so that users are able to enjoy content for longer periods of time and forget that they aren't actually sitting in a futuristic living room surrounded by large display panels.
Someone who isn't thrilled with the idea of watching movies in a virtual living room may opt to resize 2D videos until they fill their entire field of view (FOV) and even orient the entire screen, all while maintaining ambient lighting. The Vive Video user interface also features conventional playback controls. Furthermore, the app supports digital tracking which comes into play when viewing 180-degree and 360-degree videos, meaning you can turn your head around while watching something like the Oscar-nominated Pearl and the camera angle will automatically mimic your head motions. Vive Video also comes packed with a short teaser for INVASION! 360 VR, an animated short created by Ethan Hawke.
Vive Video was developed by HTC Creative Labs and is available for download from Viveport free of charge. The launch of this app marks the latest step in HTC's long-term strategy to grow its VR ecosystem trough funding of third-party studios and in-house software development. The Taiwanese tech giant recently introduced a number of new accessories for the HTC Vive and is regularly launching new first-party software for its VR headset. While some industry watchers were expecting HTC will introduce the Vive 2 at CES 2017, that didn't happen and the company's latest efforts seem to suggest that HTC is in no hurry to release a successor to its first commercial VR headset. HTC's patient approach to growing its VR business may be connected with recent reports that the VR industry is about to face a global component shortage in 2017, not to mention the fact that VR as a whole is still far from enjoying mainstream appeal yet.