Today HTC confirmed both the release date and price for the HTC Vive VR headset. Vive has gone through a couple of delays at this point, with an April release date being stated back in December of last year. Not only has the April date been solidly confirmed this time, but the other key unknown, the price, has also been confirmed to be $799.

At first glance, a $799 price point seems awfully expensive. However, HTC and Valve are marketing the Vive as the "full experience" and note that the $799 package will include the headset, the two lighthouse base stations for room tracking, and two controllers. In comparison, the Oculus Rift does come in significantly cheaper at $599 for the headset, but the controllers for the Rift have also been delayed until the second half of 2016, and they will be an additional cost on top of the $599 price. With the Rift coming out in March and the Vive in early April, consumers looking to be early adopters of VR are going to have to decide on whether they think the additional $200 up front is worth it for the additional hardware that the Vive includes, or if they'll be betting on the Rift and waiting for its special controllers later in the year.

One other thing that HTC mentioned is something called Vive Phone Services. This is essentially a feature that integrates with your iOS or Android smartphone and allows you to receive and respond to texts and calls while using your Vive. You can also check upcoming calendar invites as well, ensuring that you don't forget about what you need to do in actual reality while enjoying a world of virtual reality

Of course, on top of the cost of a VR headset is the cost of a PC powerful enough to drive it. Valve is recommending that users have an NVIDIA GTX 970 or an AMD Radeon R9 290 at minimum. With that in mind, differences in cost on the order of a couple hundred dollars may be less significant than they seem when comparing the headsets themselves. The countdown on the HTC Vive product page is now just under 8 days, and when it gets to zero preorders for the Vive will open to the public. On top of the headset, base stations, and controllers, for a limited time those who purchase the Vive will get Job Simulator by Owlchemy labs, and Fantastic Contraption by Northway games.

Source: HTC

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  • KoolAidMan1 - Sunday, February 21, 2016 - link

    Lots of negativity here.

    This is a great price compared to the Rift. Its not bad for 2016 and it'll have higher specs and a lower price in a few short years. This is the beginning.
  • shabby - Sunday, February 21, 2016 - link

    How is this a great price? The iphone 6s has around $230 bom, this on the other hand is just a screen with some gyro sensors and plastic housing with lenses, there's no cpu/gpu/modem/nand/ram or anything in there, maybe $100 worth of parts tops.
  • jasonelmore - Monday, February 22, 2016 - link

    you forgot about the lazer base stations that have state of the art room scanning technology. and the controllers which easily add up to $50 EACH on the BOM
  • squngy - Monday, February 22, 2016 - link

    cpu/gpu/modem/nand/ram combined are probably cheaper than the lenses alone.
    The screens by themselves are likely around a $100 (there are 2 of them, one for each eye).

    You also completely forgot about the positional tracking system and controllers.
  • Sttm - Sunday, February 21, 2016 - link

    What makes this worth 1/3 more than the Rift? I am not seeing it.
  • echoe - Monday, February 22, 2016 - link

    It comes with two controllers (the Rift comes with 0) and two stations for room tracking (the Rift doesn't have this feature).
    If I wasn't waiting for VR to go mainstream, I'd definitely get the Vive over the Rift. Why would you get the Rift? Don't you want to be able to move a little bit in your VR environments? Like, actually move?
  • squngy - Monday, February 22, 2016 - link

    The rift sells you the touch controllers separately (for an unannounced price)
  • stephenbrooks - Sunday, February 21, 2016 - link

    I'm not pre-ordering either this or the Rift. Best to wait until the mass release, see people's unfiltered responses, then work out what's going to be popular. Also the prices might adjust (quite possibly downwards) in response to actual market conditions.

    Also whenever I see "<game> DESIGNED FOR <particular piece of hardware>" I despair. Without a common VR platform for the PC emerging, this stuff is going to be highly balkanised and restricted to a few manufacturers' "stores". Calling something "OpenVR" is a good start but the proof is going to be in what gets adopted.
  • webdoctors - Monday, February 22, 2016 - link

    I keeping getting burned with these gimmicky fads.

    I bought a highend Panasonic 3D TV, blueray player and jumped on the 3D hype train. The glasses would make me dizzy and the content short of Avatar were crappy conversions. There's also a lack of content.

    I bought the Kinect and after some exercise games, everything felt gimmicky and total lack of quality games and content.

    The 4K monitors are here but where's the content?

    I'm gonna sit this one out. If you can't get consumers to even put on 3d glasses, how can you convince them to put on a giant headset? I'm highly sceptical and jaded of this VR "revolution"...
  • beginner99 - Monday, February 22, 2016 - link

    Congrats. You finally got it. This stuff is just that they can sell you something. 3D was to get you to buy a new full hd tv. Else why would you? 4K is to get you to buy a new flat screen. if it is just full-hd again why would you buy a new one? You would not. Lack of content? The average consumer doesn't now and the guy in the shop doesn't care as he will just tell "It's better" to make a sell.

    VR will go down in flames. The market isn't big enough. It's only as big as high-end GPU market which is already tiny. Plus wearing googles has shown not really be accepted by consumers (see 3D).

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