UPDATE: HTC has released a small statement denying reports that it will spin its VR business into a standalone company. HTC states, “Recent media reports in Taiwan, such as by United Evening News, stating that Cher Wang is planning to spin off HTC’s VR operations into an independent entity that will be wholly owned by Wang is incorrect. HTC will continue to develop our VR business to further maximize value for shareholders.”
Whether wholly owned by Cher Wang is the same thing as wholly owned by HTC is another question, but that is the statement coming from HTC.
Even though Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturer HTC continues to struggle with growing competition in the global smartphone market, the company has shown a strong commitment to position themselves as a leader in virtual reality.
HTC’s partnership with Valve on one of the first major consumer VR headsets to hit shelves this year with the HTC Vive continues to amaze fans and developers alike with demos. The company has been working closely with a number of developers to ensure a range of titles at launch like StressLevelZero’s Hover Junkers.
HTC has also been making strategic investments in the space as well. We originally broke the news that HTC invested nearly $10 million in Los Angeles based VR studio WEVR, creators of the HTC Vive demo experience theBlu: Encounter.
Now, a report from Taiwan claims that HTC is going to spin off its virtual reality division into an independent company that will remain under the ownership of HTC. Citing unnamed industry sources, the report mentions that the planned spin-off is in its initial stage but HTC is currently consulting employees on their willingness to work for the newly formed independent VR company.
Word of the plan sent shares of HTC stock up sharply on the Taiwan Stock Exchange in the morning session Monday as investors gained further confidence in HTC’s commitment to the virtual reality space.
The company announced that they will begin accepting pre-orders for the HTC Vive on February 29. HTC has been tight lipped about pricing of their VR headset, but we can expect to learn additional details on pre-order day much like we had seen with Oculus Rift pre-order day.