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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  • willis936 - Monday, February 22, 2016 - link

    How tiny is the market exactly? So tiny that a company that does nothing besides sell games is making hardware? High end pc sales are increasing and are the single thing keeping desktops alive.

    Also 4K monitors a gimmick? Please get these pedestrian opinions out of my face. 4x the pixels and pixel clock, what an impractical technology.
  • superkev72 - Monday, February 22, 2016 - link

    Honestly you are ill informed beginner99. The fact you are comparing VR to 3D, 4K etc.. tells us a lot. VR is a leap like none other in forever. BTW the Oculus store has a large library of titles already lots of them free.
  • superkev72 - Monday, February 22, 2016 - link

    I got burned with those things too but I can tell you I have a DK2 and it is immensely better than those things. I tried the CV1 and the pre at CES and they are light years better than the DK2. This is *nothing like 3D TV, kinect etc...
  • Lurf - Saturday, February 27, 2016 - link

    Lol @ webdoctor how you manage to get it wrong every! time.

    1. 3D TV: first look at 3D was avatar. You could immediately tell it was ok-ish, but meh.. quite gimmicky. Only some scenes gave a real 3D feel. Like 90% of the rest of the movie was the same, but with crappier colours...
    2. Blueray: Was really obvious that it was gonna be surpassed by USB-sticks and eventually streaming. Specially since the core technology was sorta more of the same as DVD, you knew it wasn't exciting. Also, it's a way to transport data. How's that gonna dramatically alter your whole experience all of a suddon... a little bit better res and audio. Whooptiedooh! More of the same..
    3. Kineckt: A step forward, but the 'gameplay' mechanic gives you only limited control of a game. Wii was better imo, but playing games with those controller just didn't add all that much too the experice. There was not enough response of - or control over - the game somehow to really get a continuous good and snappy grip on objects in a 3D world.

    4. And now comes the biggest innovation in years and you decide to wait it out... The entire VR experience is so much different from a PC monitor or TV. The level of immersion is simply much greater with VR. Perhaps this level of emersion is not wanted for all intended purposes, but at the least a HDM is very different from a monitor. I've tested it and it's amazing (and that was a Oculus V1 almost 2 years ago). Can't be explained. You have to experience it (second best is watching some youtube 'reaction' videos. Furthermore, mouse and keyboard a pretty great devices let's be honest. But to move around - and pick up/move objects - like you would naturally do, but then in a computer generated world sucks you in so much more. Look up the unreal engine 4 Vr thing. How cool is that :)

    Adding it all up VR: is much different because,
    - Screen all around you. Almost entire field of view is covered. Hence a much more realistic viewing experience.
    -Ability to move camera position and direction in a completely natural way. Hence a much more realistic movement/viewing experience.
    -Ability to interact with hands (fingers will follow soon with those glove controllers) in 3D environment. Hence a much more realistic handling of ingame objects.

    So I fail to see why VR would not make it this time. To experience is really good, just very solid for 1st gen. The hardware is ready for it and more and more people will obtain the required hardware in the coming years. By the time you can buy the VR-headsets the new generation GPU's will almost be out, which means that you can use this with mid-top end last generation GPU (CPU seems to be way less important - plus CPU's havent really gotten all that much better in the last few years). The market for enthousiasts is large enough to produce quite a few of those HDM's for the first year. Specially since it's quite a general purpose device this will bring in a lot more buyers than just enthousiastic gamers. Lot's of companies will buy one for instance. And the general public will gradually follow. Perhaps through PC connected HDM's. And if not through smartphones. Samsung VR is already getting quite popular and works quite well (Vulkan for smartphones might help there as well. Pretty amazing what that can do on a new phone). So lot's of people will upgrade their PC or smartphone in the coming years.

    It will be interesting to see where things go, because it is all so new. But I'm pretty sure VR is here to stay.
  • Jumangi - Monday, February 22, 2016 - link

    Love the room tracking part. I'm sure the advertisements are gonna show these giant living rooms with all this space in them, just like real living rooms do...

    It will be many many years before this stuff can even remotely be considered mainstream.
  • haukionkannel - Monday, February 22, 2016 - link

    2-3 years and these are mainstream, or becoming at least.
    It is good that these has specks that are good enough, or at least near it.
    I also have used Dk2 and even that was so good that I decided to get VR equipment, when it would become more mature and cheaper.
    I am quite sure that those new 4K blue ray players are gonna cost a lot, like blue ray players did cost in the beginning. 500-800$ at mimimum. Now you can get those near 50$.
    These VR devices will come down in price in few years, but the top models will remain expensive.

    It is easy to see that top models will offer 2*4K resolution and 120Hz is few years, and the those will cost near 1000$ while these "lesser siblings" will become near 250-350$.

    Even now the very low resolution models will be available 50-150$ but I would avoid those! There is a very good reason, why Vive and Oculust vent to higher resolution and higher fps, than those cheap alternatives!
  • Danvelopment - Monday, February 22, 2016 - link

    I'd probably say you keep getting burned as an early adopter more than anything else.

    Most of the gimmicks have mainstream adoption now, are much cheaper and have filtered down to the standard user.

    3D has plenty of content now, and has since evolved into VR.

    Full HD has stacks of content when it didn't originally, and 4K and beyond will soon enough.

    I wouldn't say give up on new markets, I'd say wait until they mature.

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