Hooray for superfluous days of recognition, because that’s what April 5 is, unless you’ve been hankering to go out and buy one of HTC’s Vive VR headsets.
According to Days of the Year, April 5 is one of many things.
It’s a day to celebrate the little gadget that once was that few use any more, because it’s “Read A Road Map Day”. Don’t feel like reading a map and would prefer to let Google do its thing, albeit not in the Ms. Pacman variety from over the weekend? No worries, because it’s Deep Dish Pizza Day, a day where you can happily go out and find a deep dish pizza and just enjoy, not that you can’t do that any other day of the week.
April 5 is many things, including a day you can bet it all and just go for broke or remember the terrible things in the world and do what you can to help in the Day of Hope, but what it hasn’t been known for is a celebration of virtual reality fans everywhere.
That may change this year — we use the term “may” very lightly — as HTC has declared April 5 to be “ViveDay”, which is the one year anniversary since HTC pushed its headset out of beta and made it available to the world.
Granted, April 5 isn’t the day HTC brought its headset to Australia, but no worries, because we can be lapped up under the same anniversary all the same.
“We’re surprised every day by what our fans and developers have brought to Vive in its first year,” said Daniel O’ Brien, General Manager of HTC Vive in the US.
“We’re astounded by the impact that VR is making in the home and in the enterprise, and we want to celebrate Vive’s first birthday by giving a bit back to our fans and by introducing Vive to more people,” he said.
So what’s being offered as a way of giving back?
For the one year anniversary, HTC claims it will be thanking customers and celebrate with a free copy of the gamer “Arcade Saga” while new customers will get $100 USD off the purchase of a Vive.
Officially that means new Australian customers will be able to grab a Vive for $799USD instead of the $899USD it normally costs provided they order it from the Vive website, a price that should see the VR headset still sit at over a grand locally.
It’s unknown whether the few Australian retailers stocking the HTC Vive VR headset will also cut the $100USD off the tag, but given the price drop only lasts a day, we’re very doubtful on that.
“Arcade Saga” on the other hand isn’t super new, arriving just before Christmas, so if you already own it, you aren’t getting it for free nor are you getting your money back.
Rather, representatives for HTC told Pickr that “the offer relating to Vive Studios’ Arcade Saga is part of the HTC Vive anniversary special promotion and therefore relates to purchases on 5 April”, meaning only the people who purchase a Vive on April 5 will get it free, not even year-long customers who may feel they’re partaking in the anniversary of Vive Day.
So this might already seem like a bit of a bust for customers of the Vive, because really, what’s the point of a “day” to celebrate your purchase if nothing is being done to make you feel like celebrating?
Well there’s one last bit that may make those folks feel accommodated: a free trial to Viveport.
This week, HTC has launched “Viveport Subscription”, a sort of all-you-can-play service for the Viveport VR application and game marketplace. The free trial will last one month, and after this, subscribers will have to pay $6.99 USD monthly to continue.
HTC does claim there’s more to come from ViveDay to mark the anniversary, and given what it’s offering, if you’re an HTC customer with a Vive, you’d kind of hope so.
Seriously, everyone would just be better celebrating Caramel Day, which is April 5, also.