Finding the right title for your HTC Vive on the Steam Store can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, thanks to Steam's rather open submission process. The long-awaited launch of Viveport, which has opened its virtually doors in more than 30 countries, could alleviate some of the frustration of stumbling upon the cream of the VR crop.
At its core, Viveport is simply a digital storefront where people looking for virtual reality content can easily find it. So in addition to games Space Pirate Trainer, Kittypocalypse and The Assembly, Viveport will feature content verticals focusing on music, education, shopping, design and news to name a few. Unlike the Oculus store, which has a closed ecosystem, Viveport, like the Steam store will have a fairly open platform.
Design-wise, Viveport isn't too far off from the Oculus Store. Accessible via desktop or in VR, games and apps appear as large floating tabs. Clicking on a tile reveals more detail about the game and gives you options to buy, download and play the content.
Viveport will be broken down into several sections. The first, Viveport Premieres, is where you'll find new and popular content. Viveport Community allows the VR-faithful to connect with other like-minded individuals, including developers and influencers. And finally, there's Vive Home. Similar to myVR, Vive Home will allow you to carve out your own unique space in virtual reality by adorning it with custom knick-knacks. You'll also have the ability to watch streaming media just as you would with Oculus Video using the web browser widget.
To entice Vive fans over to the new storefront, Viveport debuts with a 48-hour launch celebration with choice content like The Music Room Mini, Stonehenge VR and Mars Odyssey available for $1. Viveport president Rikard Steiber has also hinted that a secret message would be going out that will open "a path to unlimited Viveport content for worthy contenders." To find the mysterious message, you'll have to install the Viveport software, visit Viveport.com and engage on social media to uncover clues and keys.
Viveport is a welcome and much-needed method for Vive owners to find worthwhile content. It offers a clean, easy-to-navigate interface that should make finding something to play, watch or interact with in Vive's 600-title library a painless experience.