HTC will not be bringing the Vive VR headset to Malaysia this year. Despite its earlier promise of an October release, it appears the company is reassessing the Malaysian market about the potential success of the Vive.
According to a source close to HTC, the company has “no plans” to release the Vive in Malaysia this quarter. The source, who requests not to be named, states that despite earlier discussions on the matter, the company has not spoken about it “for months” now.
Another source we approached also mentioned that HTC sent out apology letters to its partners, who had plans to bundle the Vive alongside their hardware. It means bad news for gaming brands who have now released various “VR-ready” laptops and even backpacks without the best VR headset to play it with.
Nobody we spoke to seems to know what caused HTC’s U-turn on the Vive in Malaysia. Component shortage seems to be an initial issue when the Vive first rolled out globally earlier this year, but the company should not have trouble meeting demand half a year later.
Concerns regarding the Malaysian market’s viability for high-end gaming may be a more legitimate reason. Given that the Vive requires powerful hardware to power it, the price-sensitive Malaysian market may be open to more affordable VR options such as the PlayStation VR.
That said, the Vive was designed to be a niche product, and with brands such as Illegear (and mainstream gaming brands such as MSI, Asus, and Dell) all thriving in the high-end PC market, one cannot deny that there is a community who would invest in the Vive.