In the world of high-end virtual reality, the battle is to capture the larger subset of a niche market. For HTC, which makes the Vive headset, this task has become more difficult as significant price cuts (some temporary) from Facebook’s Oculus have left HTC selling comparable hardware at double the price ($799 vs. $399). Though price cuts may be inevitable, for HTC their main focus has been on showcasing some of the device’s more professional use cases for creatives and developers.
Today, the company’s content arm, Vive Studios, is releasing a Pro version of the MakeVR 3D modeling software, which they’ve made in collaboration with Sixense.
In March, MakeVR was launched on HTC’s Viveport store, the new Pro version doubles the price to $40 while adding some more precise modeling tools for placing 3D objects. While a lot of the features, including object snapping, grids, surface tracking and mirroring seem like things that should probably just be in the regular version, Vive is continuing to try to distinguish itself as the premium VR platform so maybe “Pro” versions will be effective in coaxing creators.
Sixense is still be best known for stringing along Kickstarter supporters of its STEM controllers, a project which raised more than $600k and has yet to ship to backers more than three years after its targeted ship date. Failed Kickstarter projects aren’t all that rare but Sixense has continued to post updates discussing supposed improvements or production issues while backers beg for refunds. All of this has been done while continuing to transition its efforts into software projects like MakeVR.
MakeVR is not without its competition, though none of the other tools are actually available on the Vive at the moment. Oculus Medium, which seems to be the top VR 3D modeling tool at the moment, is a Rift-exclusive, and despite Google’s Tilt Brush launching on the HTC Vive, the company’s quick-and-dirty 3D objects creation tool, Blocks, is — for now — exclusive to the Rift as well.
MakeVR Pro is available now for $39.99 in the Viveport store.