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News HTC to lay off 1,500 workers

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 3 Jul 2018.

  1. bit-tech

    bit-tech Supreme Overlord Staff Administrator

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  2. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD More Biddy Bang Bang than Sean Paul

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    So is this a sign that VR is going the way of 3D? The Vive pro is coming in at £1300 which still makes it pretty much niche.
     
  3. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    No, just HTC not being able to prop up their ailing phone business, which dwarfs their VR sales. You have Oculus, Sony, Microsoft (plus all the manufacturers making Windows MR HMDs based on their research), Valve (provided the research behind the Vive), etc all still working on VR.
    As far as I am aware, HTC have not even announced plans to update the 'non pro' Vive to use the 2.0 basestations (which are not backward compatible) so they may just be too short on funds to continue further development. The Vive Prop has a large enough price premium to make a decent profit margin on each unit, but the Vive is much more mechanically complex than a Rift (mainly from the Lighthouses, as anything with high speed moving parts will be more expensive than solid-state, but the Vive also has an additional moving axis that needs to remain optically centred, and that precision will eat into production costs) so their price-drops to remain competitive will have eaten up a lot of margin.
     
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  4. fix-the-spade

    fix-the-spade Well-Known Member

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    VR is a pretty niche thing thing, but it's well entrenched enough in the sim racing, sim pilots and space games. That it hasnt turned out to be the next Smart Phone the way HTC and Facebook clearly hoped it would isn't a surprise to anyone who actually thought about the technology and space needs of VR. I doubt either of them would have invested so heavily if they expected modest sales numbers to high end users to be the end game.

    HTC's failing phone arm may yet sink VR anyway, unless someone like Valve or Amazon takes the VR division off them when HTC inevitably folds. But that's fault HTC phones and not VR being unsustainable.
     
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  5. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    On the other hand, why should Valve bother now?
    They can cherry pick all VR related patents, trademarks and licenses in the administrators sale for less than it would cost now, then just hire someone else to make the headsets.
     
  6. 23RO_UK

    23RO_UK Hasta Mañana

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    It's a shame to see HTC go this way, their handsets used to be top notch back in the day.
     
  7. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    I thought they'd flogged anything of worth on that front to Alphagoogle...
     
  8. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Don't know about how desperate HTC may have been for a hit, but Oculus (plus Sony, Microsft et al) were all well aware VR would not suddenly take over the world in the first gen, as were everyone else other than people foolish enough to listen to crappy 'analyst' firms after clickbait headlines.
    Wrong way around: Valve already hold all the patents, which HTC license from them. Beyond the 'Vive' name and logo, HTC has nothing to offer Valve in that regard.
    After their experience with Motorola, Google's response was probably "not with a bargepole!"
     
  9. SexyHyde

    SexyHyde Member

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    I'll be honest, I'm surprised they managed to last this long. I was a really big HTC fanboy but stopped buying them about 4 years ago. They just got too expensive and the UK models always seemed to be nerfed.

    I don't think VR is going to be big any time soon, It's too expensive and even if it did come down in price, the cost of a machine to run anything decent is still going to be off putting for the mainstream.
     
  10. Stanley Tweedle

    Stanley Tweedle NO VR NO PLAY

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    VR is an inevitable technology. It's only ever been on an upward development curve and falling cost trend. Momentary dips on that development and sales curve are meaningless (and yet amateur journalists like to declare VR a failure frequently).

    No, VR won't go the way 3d TV did and no, it won't be "a failure like kinect" (popular anti-vr rhetoric).

    Let's apply some logic?

    Is there a better way to deliver life-size 3d visuals in a compact space?
    The answer is no. VR has been used for decades and will continue to be used because there is no better way of getting someone inside the computer world.

    https://uploadvr.com/bethesdas-todd-howard-predicts-vr-will-take-off-in-the-third-generation/

    ^^ This guy understands VR.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jul 2018
  11. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I disagree with nothing here, and yet I probably won't ever own a VR rig of my own. Why? Few reasons: I get motion sick, which makes a lot of VR stuff vomit-inducting for me; I wear glasses, which makes current-gen VR hardware uncomfortable or requires me to insert custom lenses which increase the cost and mean nobody else in the house can use it; I have absolutely no room for room-scale VR, so it's sit-down or nothing making a lot of the awesomeness significantly less awesome; the current VR stuff is pretty much all Windows exclusive, and I don't run Windows; and for the £300-1,000 I'd be spending on a VR rig and graphics card to drive it (depending on how good I want the experience to be) I could buy an absolutely corkin' 2D monitor - and when you're spending 99% of your time working on 2D stuff, that's a win.

    Shame, really. I love the idea of VR, but it just ain't for me.
     
  12. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    - Motion sickness is going to be a problem for most, but is mainly a software issue (breaking Orthostereo). Solving that is partially down to developers getting more familiar with designing for VR (disseminating all the existing advice further, tamping down the "but I want smooth motion, and smooth rotation, and to be able to reorient forward as straight up, and a pony!" crowd), and partially down to distribution platforms that enforce correct implementations or at least add warnings when orthostereo is broken.
    - The lens issue may be resolved eventually: dynamic variable scene focus appears to be a 'next release' feature within 1/2 years, and research focus is on far more advanced optical techniques for wavefront-forming. Variable focus solves myopia/presbyopia in-headset, wavefront forming could also resolve astigmatism. Contact lenses also work.
    - 'Room-scale' is going to be an issue for anyone without an American-sized house, but is really just a stop-gap solution until a better option for arbitrary environment locomotion is available (mostly a cost issue with current ODTs and slidemills, home treadmills are not uncommon so expect a solution of similar size and price). There's plenty of things that work while seated or standing on the spot today though.
    - Windows... That boat sailed well over a decade ago. Windows or consoles, take you pick for gaming.
    - Cost will continue to drop over time, as with any other technology (fun facto! 2000's world's fastest supercomputer - ASCI White - had the same FP performance as today's 1070Ti, but at 30,000x the power consumption!).

    VR is for early adopters today, but in 1/2 years (when proper 'second gen' devices arrive based on the fruits of the last few years of research, rather than just taking current devices and putting in slightly denser display panels) I'd expect to see a larger uptake.
     
  13. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    No, it's not - unless cars run the same software. Hell, I get motion sick playing the boat level on Half-Life 2 in good ol' 2D.
    Not for me they don't; I don't fancy sticking owt in my eyes, never have.
    I absolutely don't have room for a treadmill. I barely have room for my exercise bike, and that folds up pretty small when I'm not using it.
    Why d'you think I own a PS4?
    Which doesn't work as an argument, because the same can be said for display technology. The £500 I'd spend on a Vive today will get me a really good £500 2D monitor; the £200 I'd spend on a Vive in a few year's time will get me the exact same really good 2D monitor, except it's also gone down to £200.

    Like I say, I'm not against VR for them as it works for - but I ain't among 'em.
     
  14. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    I have little to no depth perception making most VR as pointless as stereoscopic 3D... plus i live in a shoebox of a flat [and my PC is in the sitting room] so i don't have the room to flail about with motion controls...

    ...i also have no desire to flail about like a loon, with or without a box strapped to my face.

    ...people were saying that 1-2 years ago, and they'll probably be saying the same in 1-2 years time.

    This time next year - we'll be millionaires, VR will take off and it'll be the year of desktop linux.
     
  15. MLyons

    MLyons Half dev, Half doge. Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    The sad part is the Linux statement is still the least likely :p
     
  16. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Then PSVR! Effectively no issues with room-scale (due to the PS Eye's small view frustum everyone designs for stationary use), games required to support the controller in addition to Move so no arm-flailing clearance issues, and a good sized library of games available due to Sony's copious funding and the large install base, and can be had south of £150 used.
    That's not true at all. You miss out on Stereopsis, but you'd be missing that IRL anyway. All the other mechanisms for depth perception (barring Accommodation, for now) are just as available in VR as in real life. Parallax is the big one that cannot be replicated for flat-screen viewing without active head tracking (like stereo TV, which has a fixed viewpoint, focus and IPD).
    1-2 years ago people were saying that because they were using the development kits for the HMDs that released last year. They turned out to be right, as the consumer headsets vastly outsold the devkits.
     
  17. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I'm not sure you fully grasp what I'm saying, here: I have no interest in VR because I get motion sick, have no room, wear glasses, and could better spend the money elsewhere. PSVR fixes none of those, bar possibly the "I have no room" part - but even then I'm willing to bet I'd have to rejig the living room a bit.

    Like I say, if you: don't get motion sick; have room; don't wear glasses; and have the money to spare, then more power to your elbow - VR's for you. Me, though? Nah.

    It'd be a terrible investment anyway: I can count on the fingers of one foot the number of hours my PS4 has spent running anything other than Netflix in the last couple of months...
     
  18. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    UK architecture, the gift that keeps on giving.
    Inflate the number of rooms within each house regardless of how cramped the result is and to hell with the consequences...
     
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  19. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Well, I also cover no room, very sensitive to sim-sickness, and until recently needing glasses (which the PSVR can easily accommodate due to having huge amounts of eye-relief and the top mounting point for the band). For sim-sickness, the idea is to stay away from hyper-speed-giant-robot-beat-em-up, and stick to things like Moss or Obduction.
     
  20. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    I miss out on Parallax too... To me VR googles are basically cut-resolution flat panel that tracks my head and gives me a headache... and i do head tracking without the expense, headache or looking like a berk that comes with VR goggles.

    Consumer Rift and Vive are both 2 years old now... and people were saying at the time 'This gen is for early adopters... but in a few years/when the next gen arrives...'

    ...so here we are, a few years later, and 'lo and behold it's still:

     
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