The HTC Vive just got a $200 price cut

HTC has cut the price of its Vive virtual reality headset by $200, bringing the system’s cost down to $599. The discount is meant to stimulate consumer interest in the system, and make it easier to afford accessories, including the Vive Tracker that went on sale earlier this year. It also comes with a one-month free trial of HTC’s Viveport subscription service, which offers access to a selection of VR games. “We want to really significantly boost VR adoption now across the globe,” says Vive US general manager Dan O’Brien, as the Vive’s second holiday season approaches. “We think now is the right time to reset the price.”

This price drop mirrors the Oculus Rift’s $200 price cut in March, and it brings the Vive closer to the Rift’s current $499 list price. (It’s temporarily $399 as part of a summer sale.) O’Brien says that just like Oculus has promised with the Rift, the current-generation Vive isn’t going away any time soon. “This is not about clearing the channel to make room for another product. We do expect this version of Vive to stay in market well into 2018,” he says. Users can upgrade it with wireless adapters, a new head strap, and other other add-ons. “We don’t want users to feel like they’re always having to be [up-sold] into new hardware. We do want to make sure that things that we make around the Vive today continue to work with it.”

O’Brien notes that HTC has upgraded elements like the Vive’s cable system without declaring a new generation of hardware, and says that kind of iterative design will probably continue for some time. However, Vive co-creator Valve has been showing off one upgrade that might not come out for a while: a set of majorly redesigned motion controllers. O’Brien says the new controllers are still in their prototype stage, though developers have started getting versions of them for testing. “We’re still working on consumer versions of those.”

The new price cut doesn’t affect the Vive’s $1,200 Business Edition package, which is aimed at arcades and other commercial enterprises. O’Brien says that these commercial editions make up a minority of Vive sales, but they’re still a substantial part of the business — especially in China, where HTC estimates that they’re in 60 to 70 percent of an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 total arcades in the country.

The Vive’s intense setup process and general clunkiness still makes it more of a choice for hardcore enthusiasts than casual VR buyers. But today’s discount is good news for anyone who’s been interested in the system but balked at its previous $799 price tag, especially since VR-ready computers have gotten significantly cheaper since its launch in the spring of 2016.

Correction: The Oculus Rift is currently $499, not $599.

Comments

Not bad, now to wait for the next 2 price cuts before even considering these.

wait for the second version’s second price cut more likely.

let’s get some FOV and some better res, lower weight, focal point recognition, eye tracking in headset

That too, personally I haven’t tested the HTC Vive so didn’t comment on the next version.

nor i

this first version is really just "to market"

if this is real now, we are going to have a continuum of VR/AR headsets, then unless you crave to pony up for the R&D via being eary adopters, then waiting a round or 2 or 3 will be well worth it.

we are at iPhone Original or that first Droid currently.

$399 (or 449€ inc. taxes, shipping) is a great price for a Oculus Rift. It is well below the 500€ price tag that is considered by many as a though line for a gaming peripheral that they can use.

As the VR devices are comparable to other specialized gaming devices like a HOTAS or Racing Wheel, they are still far from the more common ones like a keyboards, mouses and special gaming displays (144Hz etc).

So buying a HOTAS worth of a 350-450€ is not so bad when you are mainly for specific kind flying simulations (DCS, X-Plane and some parts even to Elite Dangerous) but it is almost stupid to buy anything like that for common games like War Thunder or a Battlefield etc.

The same thing is with the VR. The first illusion many has is that they can just pick any game and start playing in virtual reality manner seeing 3D etc. Yet for many it is huge surprise that there are just a dozen or two good VR titles that are worth to play and best of them has like 4-5 hours worth of gaming if noing rushing through.

So for all that content you can have, it is like buying a Blu-ray player and 75" 4K TV just so you can watch a 10 movies over and over again.

And Oculus that is investing lots of money for directing great titles (like Lone Echo or Robo Recall), it is that so many AAA studios are not even saying anything about VR. Like we know now that Fallout 4 and Doom (2016) is coming out with VR choices, but like where is the ARMA 3 or even a Call of Duty on FPS front? How about a RTS games in VR like example R.U.S.E and Wargame series? Throw those few titles ASAP to VR and many more would be going to buy those for 449€ price!

The Wargame series would be amazing addition to usual content as the Touch Controllers allow so nice, natural and smooth operation (better than Vive wands) that can be experienced alone with the Google Earth. But you could be there commanding troops across the map and first time really enjoy from going close to the fight and then up fast.

But no! We are having dozens of tower defender games, few music jumping games, couple escape rooms, handful of RPG games and then lots of just simple testings….

If these devices would cost 199€ or 249€, I could see far more people getting to them but even before that we need seriously more better content. Like ARMA 3, Wargame, Robo Recall, Lone Echo and Vanishing Realms.

If one would want to stay in VR and only play VR games all the time, then yeah, the around 20 must have games so far are not that many yet. But me personally, after the initial mega hype when i tried everything coming out, now the VR headsets have become another (very cool) option to use it’s unique content on and i use them in between every few days usually (when not working on an own vr game), not daily.
So i still play regular games on pc, console, even mobile sometimes and then when i feel like it in between i play something in VR. For that type of playing, yeah, there is already plenty enough good content and more coming each week and usually 1-2 bigger ones per month, already more than i would have time for to play all of the just good ones.
It will take time until way more games of the largest scope come out for VR, because, well, it doesn’t just generally take longer to develop those but also takes a bigger audience to refinance those so it will take some years of growingly more in depth stuff until we get more things on the biggest games’ scales for VR.
It’s not just done with deploying an existing game for VR, that itself can be done in less than 10 minutes in most engines. It takes a lot of work to make something in a way that is ideal for VR. Where one really has the immersion without getting nauseous. Because the camera, controls, gameplay etc all should be made with VR in mind.
I have a arcade soccer game called Worldy Cup on Early Access for example and it can be played on both regular screen and in VR. But right now it’s mostly just playing it in VR without specific gameplay made for that way of playing.
So now i’m working on gameplay and view modes that make more sense in VR.

Regarding game length in general i’m not even sure if that type of extremely long content would be the best content for current VR, because seriously, how many people have the lifestyle that they would play games going over 20 hours in VR?
I try to manage an at least halfway reasonable life balance and that leaves me only a few hours per week to play VR stuff in one go usually.
To me the length is not of prime importance, what’s way more important is that i enjoy the time with it and feel like it delivered what it meant to deliver story or gameplaywise well in the timespan it did.
There are many VR games i only played for 30-60 minutes while enjoying them a lot for what they are. Usually when they deliver something one just can’t experience in that immersive way with any other way right now.
There are also a few longer VR games like Arizona Sinshine, Robo Recall, Lone Echo etc which i quite enjoyed, too. But besides i’d like to play onwards in the story/world of Lone Echo, i didn’t feel like it was too short at all, just because i played it through within a weekend instead of it taking weeks or months, it was a great story and world i’d like to see more episodes of, but it doesn’t have to be in a game style that sorta requires one plays in this giant world for more than 30 hours and would feel lost when picking it up again a week or two later.

Some game types like RTS could also be done quite well in VR when doing them well optimised for VR, whereas some others like an ARMA would be tricky to do for people who don’t have a large 1:1 movement allowing roomscale space and so then would have to settle for teleporting movement or moving with the touchpad/analogue stick in discomforting way (as moving the camera/your view independently of the body then)

my bottom line is things evolve over time, give it the time and enjoy those great things coming out each month and be happy we can enjoy those great progresses there and experiences which were unthinkable just a few years ago

Price drop….. hmmm…. I’ll wait for the 4K+ second gen headset

Better wait for 2019-2020 then. As you might start to see the 6K (4K per eye) with 210 degree FOV (about 105 degree per eye) with all new fancy tech (eye tracking to ease 3D rendering load) but problem still is that to get things running well you need high end CPU, lots of RAM and great GPU.

So dropping a 1500€ for PC and then a 500€ for a VR device is not cheap thing to do.

Vive is my VR system of choice. Glad to hear, I’d gladly have shelled out 200 extra, but I’m not complaining.

I decided to get it on the action with an oculus. Can confirm the 1080p resolution is not good enough. PPD of 8 now but 16 is also not that great. Need at least 30 PPD (8K) to get the quality of a 1080p 32" monitor. Besides I have a GTX 1060 that I plan to keep for another 3 yrs and I doubt it can drive a 4K display at 60+fps.

That is the challenge. Get a PC that is fast enough to do all the heavy lifting. Why we are not going to see lots of improvements to HMD in couple years.

Instead, polishing what we have now, learning to do the new graphics (really need to design graphics like for a few year old mobile phone!) and especially the stories and controls.

But there are new technologies like eye tracking that would allow ease even more the graphics drawing, by only spending full rendering capability to position where you look (foveon area) that is just less than 2 degree of your field of view. But it needs to be super fast detection (less than couple milliseconds) and graphics need to be updated in that time to full in that area then.

But it would allow wasting rendering 95% of the screen area that eye can’t even see well anyways while looking small areas.

the price drop can make it more affordable to more people, so that’s a good thing of course.
I don’t fully agree with your note at the end making it sound like the vive had such a (more) intense setup process than the rift.
I have both the Vive and the Rift and felt like it didn’t make much difference in setup process.
For the Vive, yes, one has to mount the lighthouse boxes somewhere, either to a wall or something else or put them on tripods.
I put them on tripods.
But then one is "more done" with the setup i feel, since with the vive lighthouse tracking i very rarely if ever have to adjust the tracking again.
Whereas with the Rift it is easier to just place the camera sensors it uses on a table or something but in return i felt like it takes more fiddling to actually get them to ideal position to track a large enough area and also they can be moved more easily then to be mispositioned and one has to go through the calibration etc again then. And they also track a smaller area well and one needs 3 of them for full 360.
With the Vive i pretty much never have it happen that it looses tracking when i turn the wrong way whereas with the Rift as i only have two sensor cameras for it and 360 roomscale only works well with it with 3, well, i have to consider way more during playing that i should not turn away from the tracking cameras.
Also that the Rift cameras need cables to the computer can be quite the hinderance depending on where the computer is positioned.

So they both are not fully hassle free (enough) yet to set up, but i feel like it just differs on which ends which one is a bit more hassle but overall both are very nicely usable once one has set them up.

Overall it shouldn’t take more than 10-60 minutes to set each up depending on how fast one goes about it, so it’s not the end of the world.

In return one gets VR experiences on both which are years ahead of phone VR and on a way different level of feeling like "in there and doing the thing", so that makes it well worth it.

Fair enough. I think probably the most wonderful part of this is that the two are so similar that it is "opinions" that define the differences rather than stats.

I am on the opposite side of the fence. I have both the Rift and Vive since day one (I’m a VR dev) and far prefer the Oculus.

For years I demo’d the Vive as the showcase of VR. The room scale and hand controllers made it a no-brainer choice to take out to give demos.

When Oculus released Touch I switched to demoing using the Rift and I’ve found the Rift far easier to set up and monitor. No more kids shaking my Vive tripods!

But, as I said, it’s REAL close. Neither is a mistake to buy over the other.

Great times.

yeah, i agree.

what i do find more hassle involving with the vive is mostly the steamvr app which can be finnicky in between and i feel like it just takes longer for it to start up the first time whereas the rift is just on quite quickly as soon as i put the headset on.

regarding the controllers i agree that the rift touch controllers are nicer than the vive wands, but then the tracking is worse than for the vive, so yeah, that mitigates it some for me.
Though i like it a lot that the fingers/hands are better represented with the rift touch controllers.
Then there’s also the side though that likely we’ll get the knuckles controllers for the vive towards the end of the year (looks like it at least), so then maybe the vive is in the lead again regarding the controllers.

In either case, yeah both push for improving things at a rapid pace, so, i like both, too and am glad i have both, too

(One could talk about more pros and cons on software side and what not all but yeah, both are very cool to have )

Price drop? Of course, no one wants this VR crap.

only say those who never tried it

I honestly think it would take a Half-Life 3 or such, to buy it.

They should also really be including the Deluxe Audio strap as part of the regular $599 price- makes the headset much closer to the Rift’s in terms of convenience.

Facebook could easily sell Oculus at a loss and become Ready Player One’s Oasis.

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