On Monday, HTC announced a permanent Vive price reduction to $599, bringing the VR headset down from its original $799 launch price. The now-$599 standard HTC Vive kit includes the headset itself, two wireless controllers, two base stations, link box, earbuds, assorted connectors, and accessories. This move comes roughly a month after Oculus’ ‘Summer of Rift’ announcements that saw the Rift + Touch bundle permanently cut to $499.

Vive purchases come with complimentary copies of Google’s Tilt Brush, EverestVR, and Richie’s Plank Experience. In addition, HTC offers a one-month free trial to Viveport Subscription, where customers pay $6.99 a month for up to five titles to play. HTC also points out upcoming Vive exclusives, such as Fallout 4 VR and Doom VFR. In the background is natural compatibility with SteamVR, as Valve co-developed the Vive with HTC.

Currently, the Rift + Touch bundle is still available at its $399 summer sale price. However, the Rift + Touch bundle does require an additional $59 third sensor to achieve room-scale tracking, whereas the base Vive kit accomplishes this natively. In the same vein, the Vive price drop has not affected the separate $99 Deluxe Audio Strap. As noted last October, the Rift Touch controllers are more akin to “halves of gamepads”, as opposed to the Vive wands. Beyond our first looks with both the Vive and the Rift, both setups still emphasize different aspects of the VR experience despite offering similar capabilities.

While HTC has lowered the Vive’s price to $599, the Vive remains in pole position with respect to high-end VR market share. A few months earlier, research firm SuperData outlined its expectation that the Vive would outsell the Rift by 200,000 units. Now, despite the recent Rift price cuts, SuperData observes that HTC is still shipping more Vive units, although the ‘Summer of Rift’ sale did make up some ground. In the near future, HTC has the Daydream standalone Vive and Vive Knuckles in the pipeline, with the China-only Vive Standalone already shipping.

Nevertheless, price reductions for both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive bring high-end VR a step closer to widespread adoption. And for consumers, these continued price drops are the best news yet.

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Source: HTC

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  • Yojimbo - Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - link

    VR is a new technology with evolving hardware and, more importantly, vastly different design constraints than what people have been designing for over the past 20 years. It will take content creators years to figure out how to effectively use the technology. Suppose you decide to make a VR game. You spend a couple years designing and coding the game, then you release it and get feedback on it and consider it. Now you have some idea of what works and doesn't work. Plus you have feedback from other people's attempts. So you go back to try again. That's one iteration. In the meantime the hardware may have changed, allowing different possibilities.

    I think it'll catch on, but not overnight. It's the usual situation. It looks like it took over 15 years for television to supplant radio as the largest broadcast entertainment medium. VR is different enough from traditional gaming that it's an appropriate comparison.
  • Gunbuster - Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - link

    Call me when it hits $200
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - link

    Not regretting my $399 Rift purchase. Better controllers and pretty good built in headphones. I'm really disliking the sensors though. They're a pain in the ass to get calibrated.
  • timecop1818 - Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - link

    rift sensors and tracking is inferior to Vive in every way possible, so enjoy saving $100 to get substandard experience
  • edzieba - Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - link

    You'll only start getting issues once you have extremely large (beyond 5mx5m) tracking volumes. Within that, performance is functionally identical (limited by IMU performance) but both have tradeoffs: Constellation links to the host PC rather than the nearest power outlet, but both have wire-tethered sensors/emitters. You can use up to 4 Constellation cameras to increase occlusion robustness, while Lighthouse is limited to two (the new sync-less basestations can do more, but are incompatible with existing Vives and controllers/pucks in that mode). Constellation is vulnerable to overall scene nIR brightness (i.e. no massive open windows or outdoor use in daytime) while Lighthouse is vulnerable to any reflective surface (window, mirror, TV, polished floor) that needs to be covered.
  • Manch - Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - link

    Controllers are better and I'll give a very slight nod to the Rift headset for visual. COmfort, Rift wins hands down. Tracking is just fine with two, Three is better but only if you have a larger room that requires it. Set up is easier on the Vive. Roomscale is easy. Less tweaking. Either way, no choice is bad. Both are at good prices. Just got to decide which is better for you.
  • natesland - Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - link

    I have 3 sensors on my Rift and the tracking is as close to flawless as I can imagine. FWIW.
  • descendency - Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - link

    For me, the problem isn't price. It's giving a care about the games that are VR. 800...600...400...200... it doesn't matter because nothing in VR is worth playing yet. Nothing has to be played in VR like when games went from SD -> HD or 2D -> 3D.
  • marcplante - Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - link

    I'm looking forward to project cars 2, but I'm a driver.
  • natesland - Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - link

    Dead and buried. It's SO much fun!

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