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HTC Vive

Valve and HTC have teamed up with Steven Spielberg and Warner Bros. Entertainment for the upcoming 2018 theatrical release of Ready Player One. They will be producing virtual reality content in relation to the movie.

A press release was sent out indicating that the HTC Vive would be the exclusive home for Ready Player One VR content. The press release is vague on details but they do state that "activations," "content" and "experiences" will be available for the Vive throughout 2018.

Now, there is some really cool news attached to this announcement: the HTC Vive will be the VR home for watching Ready Player One theatrically and through the home video release. They state that the content will be distributed through the Viveport portal, a digital distribution website containing exclusive apps made for the HTC Vive.

At the moment it's obviously no where near as robust as say the Steam store or even the Oculus Store, but the big difference between Vive and Oculus is that there's a lot more open source compatibility with the Vive, making it far more attractive for indie devs and content creators.

That's not to mention that Facebook and Oculus recently just had a major legal battle with ZeniMax over copyright issues, resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement in ZeniMax's favor. Another motion was filed by ZeniMax in an attempt to block software being made (or already available) for the Oculus Rift to be prohibited from being sold. Obviously, Spielberg and Warner Bros., would not want to dive into that hornet's nest for Ready Player One given that they would likely not want the product overshadowed or mired in legal madness. The Vive gave them a great opportunity to avoid that mess.

Of course, there's also the PlayStation VR, but lower resolutions and poor display quality could be what's hampering the PSVR from reaching certain partnerships and deals. And the partnership with Ready Player One will also include more than just movie-related content in the VR space.

The press release also points to a game of sorts (or games, plural) being in the works as well. They mention that there will be content made available through the Viveport Arcade. They don't say what kind of content it will be, but it's obviously going to be game related. Now, if you're expecting a "movie-based game," I don't know if they're actually going in that direction. Instead they mention that there will be Ready Player One-inspired content, which seems to suggest that it could be similar to what Disney did with Tron, with smaller titles like Tron Run/r, which was inspired by the movies but wasn't actually a movie-based game.

Also, this isn't the first time that Steven Spielberg has stepped into the gaming arena. Previously, he had a hand in the Wii and mobile title Boom Blox. Whether or not he'll be more involved with the VR aspects of Ready Player One remains to be seen, but they will be working with HTC leading up to the release of the movie in spring of 2018.

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