Viveport Infinity Won’t be Available on the Oculus Quest
Facebook’s upcoming virtual reality headset Oculus Quest is set to launch on May 21st with a host of virtual reality games and experiences. However, the platform will not contain one of the most popular VR services- Viveport Infinity, a Netflix-style virtual reality subscription service that gives users access to a vast library of VR content.
This was first mentioned by Viveport executive during a Reddit AMA interview and the information has since been verified by an HTC Spokesperson who stated that the service is not planning to support Quest at this time. Viveport stated that it is currently more focused on supporting only PC VR and the VIVE Wave Devices.
The Viveport service offers subscribers access to a massive library of more than 600 virtual reality games and apps for a price of $12.99 per month. This week, Viveport revealed that the service will also be available to Oculus Rift S owners and as well as those of the recently unveiled Valve Index VR headset. The Viveport VR store was the precursor to the Viveport Infinity and was launched on the Oculus Rift headset last summer.
From its developer terms of service, it’s clear Facebook is not particularly keen on helping apps that can practically work as alternatives to its app store. In the Oculus developer store, one of the stipulations is that the apps added on the Store must not incorporate other commerce solutions or platforms. PC-based headsets do not easily lend themselves to these requirements as it is much easier for users on PC VR to download and install separate app stores or subscription services.
Oculus is imposing stringent requirements of locking in games and apps and this is likely to have an impact on the virtual reality subscription services. It’s a business model that once locked out Oculus itself due to Google terms that similarly prohibit the distribution of apps and games on alternative app stores via Google Play. In the early days, when Google imposed similar restrictions, it was a challenge for Facebook which was also working on rolling out the Oculus Store to mobile phones.
Oculus eventually managed to circumvent these restrictions by going into a partnership with Samsung for its Samsung Gear VR headset. Through the partnership, Facebook was able to sideload its Oculus Store along with the virtual reality apps that were sold with it to the Samsung mobile phones effectively bypassing Google Play.
It’s a route the other major player in the VR hardware space, HTV Vive, could theoretically take to circumvent the “protectionist” models of the big players. However, Viveport Infinity has said it will still be exploring opportunities for collaboration once the Oculus Quest headset has been launched.