When HTC unveiled its Vive virtual reality headset a little more than a year ago, it seemed like a shot in the dark - the Taiwanese manufacturer had never made any gaming hardware, and it was squaring up to compete with Oculus, a relatively seasoned company with a fresh cash infusion from Facebook. Fast forward to the present, and entering the ready-to-explode consumer VR market (not to mention partnering with PC gaming and distribution giant Valve) seems like the best decision HTC has made in a long time.
Maybe that's why HTC is splitting off the Vive portion of the company into a distinct subsidiary. The Verge reports that the Vive development team and its resources are now HTC Vive Tech Corporation, "a vehicle for developing strategic alliances to help build the global VR ecosystem." (That's HTCVTC as an acronym, by the way, with "Tech" used twice. Catchy.) The press statement didn't say whether HTC branding would continue on the product itself - the first-gen Vive has a very prominent HTC logo.
The short press statement didn't explicate it, but this move probably gives the managers and engineers in the new subsidiary some breathing space to focus on gaming and entertainment, two sectors that the larger company has never had to deal with. It doesn't hurt that Vive will now be its own brand, and (for the moment) a well-respected one in its marketplace. Though HTC has given a mighty effort and its flagship phones have garnered critical acclaim, the company continues to lose market share versus Samsung et al. The money is still going to the same place, but with the Vive poised to become HTC's most valuable corporate asset, perhaps this move will allow them to make a little more of it.
- The Verge