Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney has proclaimed the HTC Vive’s superiority over the Oculus Rift – at least in sales. No specific numbers or sources were released, but to quote him, the HTC Vive “is outselling Oculus 2-to-1 worldwide”. And a “walled garden approach” is to blame.
It’s a repeat of what rival tech companies have been doing for decades – Atari versus Intellivision, Sony’s Betamax versus JVC’s VHS, Apple iOS versus Microsoft’s Windows platform. We also can’t forget to include Apple versus Android, which is a rivalry that’s still boiling up to now. Now the latest breakthrough technology is having its own version of this type of rivalry – both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are pioneers in VR, and the pair represent the first (and hopefully not the last) big rivalry for this market.
The main difference between the aforementioned rivals, as well as HTC vs. Oculus, is their approach in handling their customers. The Oculus platform is said to be a “walled garden” – sure it’s nice inside, with a lot of flowers and a nice pond with flowing water making the stay inside a pleasant one – but you can’t go out of that garden and still enjoy the benefits to be found inside. Oculus has their own store, and is the deafult option when you install a Rift. The Steam store can be used, but must be enabled first.
Valve’s OpenVR API on the other hand, can be used and is used by other headsets, including the Oculus Rift. It’s the expansive, natural meadow to Oculus’ walled garden. Oculus’ Head of Content Jason Rubin maintains that their approach is the best way to jump-start the VR market, but this writer thinks the market is already past that stage, and I’m in agreement with Tim Sweeney on the ultimate success to be enjoyed by an open – platform approach.
There are other factors affecting Oculus deficit in sales, according to Mr. Sweeney – primary of which is their absence from the Chinese market – a huge, developing market tapped so far only by HTC. Ultimately, I think competition will force one or the other to at least adapt to the demands of the majority, and it will continue to be a heck of a rivalry for years to come – which will only benefit us consumers all the more.
Adapted from original source at roadtovr.com