Google Hires Half of HTC
HTC has fallen on hard times and rumors have been swirling that they intended to sell off parts of their business. Palmer Luckey even floated the idea of purchasing the Vive business on Twitter.
Wednesday, we got a surprising outcome. Google is hiring half of HTC’s engineers for its Pixel phone project, paying HTC $1.1 Billion for the hire along with a nonexclusive license to relevant HTC technologies. HTC is keeping its brand, roughly half of its design and engineering team and, according to its press release, will continue to develop a “streamlined” portfolio of phones and the Vive.
The move marks a shift for Google, which famously purchased Motorola and then resold it to Lenovo three years later, losing nearly $10 billion in the process (they kept a few patents so it may not have been a total loss). They are back in the hardware game now. The difference is now the hardware will be Google-branded.
It doesn’t sound like a particularly winning move for HTC, but maybe it will buy time for the Vive business to expand. Palmer Luckey tweeted that he would be on the Vive stage during the Tokyo Game Show, which started Wednesday, so maybe we’ll hear his thoughts on the matter.
Tested went hands-on with the Pimax 8K VR Headset. They seemed fairly impressed, but apparently there were significant issues with the shape of the image on the sides. As we mentioned last week, problems with lens de-distortion has been an issue with all of the similar headsets we’ve tried so far, such as the StarVR. Another note is that the 8K version of the headset will rely on an upscaler because an 8K signal can’t be sent over a single cable. A future version will offer true 8K with two cables, but that may need specialized software support.