Updated: HTC Vive gets a $799 sticker price

HTC announced today that its Vive VR headset will cost $799. That price will include the Vive hand controllers, base stations, the headset itself, and a pair of ear buds according to an earlier report fromThe Verge. The final version of the headset will apparently be a bit more polished all around than the current developer hardware, and The Verge says it'll come with a built-in microphone, too.

That $799 price tag is quite a bit lower than we were expecting. Oculus' Rift costs $599 right now, and it doesn't yet include the company's Touch hand controllers. Considering everything one gets out of the box with the Vive, we think HTC's price positions the headset as an aggressive competitor for the Rift. We're holding off on declaring a winner for this phase of the VR wars until we can review both headsets, but given our experiences with pre-release hardware, the Vive offers a fair bit of value for that extra $200.

HTC says the Vive will be bundled with two games for a limited time: Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption. Pre-orders for the Vive will begin at 10 AM ET on February 29. HTC has previously stated that the Vive will begin shipping in April.

Comments closed
    • DPete27
    • 4 years ago

    Does the Vive have equal head tracking as the Rift for stationary gaming?

    Having the ability to stand up and move around a bit with the Vive sounds very appealing and opens up a wider range of games IMO. ([Edit:] Cables notwithstanding)
    Thinking about Street Fighter / Mortal Combat with those hand controllers!!

      • Billstevens
      • 4 years ago

      Yes their tracking systems are more or less equivalent. The only major difference is the Rift requires base cameras to be hooked into USB 3.0 ports for each one attached.

      Both are extremely accurate and both can track you in 360 while moving around and standing depending on your camera setup.

      The Vive is the only one with a pass-through camera, to help you see your surroundings if you encroach on the edge of your tracking space.

    • sreams
    • 4 years ago

    What about buying it without the controllers? I want to use this thing for driving sims. I have no need for the extra hardware.

      • Laykun
      • 4 years ago

      Let me introduce you to the Oculus Rift, only $599.

    • Krogoth
    • 4 years ago

    Reminds me of the old joysticks and yokes that were based on actual aircraft instruments that were the rage during the 1990s.

    They weren’t cheap and catered to a small demographic (flight simulators).

    • christos_thski
    • 4 years ago

    So then, it appears what Valve/HTC earnestly call “premium” pricing is pretty close to the price range Oculus was peddling as “affordable VR for everyone – wheeeeeeeeee!”.

    This alone creates good faith in favour of HTC/Valve, while good faith has all but dissipated as far as oculus is concerned.

    Other than that, HTC seems to be bundling a lot more into the box, and seems to me, as a layman, the better option at the moment…

      • Billstevens
      • 4 years ago

      Oculus move away from affordable a long time ago. The only reason people were pissed about the price is because Palmer Luckey said on reddit a month before release that the finally price would be in the ballpark of $350-$500… In reality they told everyone almost 1 year ago that the Rift + a PC would cost $1500. Which is exactly what it costs.

      The only major difference between the two systems right now is the Vive ships with tracked controllers and the extra base station to track them in 360 degrees. Most suspect that Oculus’s impending motion controls will cost $200 when released later this year and that will bring the two systems to price parity. Which makes sense since their HMD hardware is nearly identical baring some mechanical refinements and audio/camera features.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 4 years ago

    This is why Oculus delayed releasing their controllers and separated them out of the box. Because you just know they were going to be $200 or more. Now, depending on how sales go against Vive, they may go slightly lower at $150.

    Vive might wind up the better deal if you plan to buy everything, which is a truly epic fail on the part of Facebook. Vive should have been far and away more expensive than the platform that originally began as the “$200-300 value option to prove VR doesn’t need to be prohibitively expensive.”

    • Voldenuit
    • 4 years ago

    If sony is smart, they will price the PS VR (+move controller or whatever they plan to use) for $499. This will mean the entire buy-in cost for a playstation VR experience will be less than OR or Vive (and potentially less than the price of a PC headset + controller).

    As sony makes money on every game sold for their platform, this will make them more money in the long run. And if it’s usable to wath 3d blurays, households may be buying 2 of these.

    Doesn’t mean I’ll be buying a PS4, but sony stands to gain the most at this stage.

      • brucethemoose
      • 4 years ago

      Remember, Sony has to bundle an external processing box with the VR kit.

      Even if they subsidize the cost with game/PS4 sales, I don’t see them undercutting the Rift. The overall cost may still be lower, but the sticker price of the VR kit won’t be cheap.

        • Voldenuit
        • 4 years ago

        [quote<]Remember, Sony has to bundle an external processing box with the VR kit.[/quote<] From what I gather, the external processing box just handles frame warping, which sounds like it can be done with a simple (and cheap) ASIC. While building and assembly of the box is an added cost, that's no more onerous than the positional sensor cameras on the Vive.

          • Stargazer
          • 4 years ago

          Does anyone have any definitive information about how the PSVR frame warping is supposed to work?

          As I understand it, the Oculus uses the Z-buffer to achieve its “Time Warp”. Does the PSVR external processing box also do this (if so, how does it get the information from the Z-buffer?), or does it handle it in some other way?

            • Stargazer
            • 4 years ago

            It would seem like the simplest way to handle things would be to actually have the PS4 itself handle the frame warping (since it has access to the Z-buffer), and simply let the external processing box handle the frame rate doubling (through interpolation between 2 adjacent frames) and converting the output for the two attached displays (VR headset + regular TV), but this would seem to contradict some of the information out there.

            It seems like it would also be horrible for latency (limited to a base 60 Hz update frequency, and added latency from the frame doubling).

            edit: Unless they can actually manage to perform the frame warping at 120 Hz on the PS4, using the same frame twice. That could work I suppose, since it seems like the PS4 is actually capable of 120 Hz output…

            • Voldenuit
            • 4 years ago

            No definitive details as far as I’m aware, but it sounds like sony is doing a “dumb” frame-warping with overscan and just jiggling the frame ( maybe with perspective correction) to compensate for head motion when framerates are low.

          • boblo
          • 4 years ago

          I was under the impression that sony does not have to do any frame warping

        • Billstevens
        • 4 years ago

        The PSVR is a lower tech product though in general. It has a single lower res screen and that will be the biggest cost saver. The aren’t worrying about build in audio from what we have seen and their tracking tech is older and simpler.

        They are most likely targeting a lower price than Oculus or Vive since they probably know they won’t get any adopters if this thing cost double the price of the PS4.

    • swaaye
    • 4 years ago

    I have a feeling this is gonna go like the VR of the ’90s. A few games will support it but it’s too expensive to really go anywhere.

    The first hand experiences I’ve read don’t sound very good either. Latency. head fatigue and determining just what kind of game it actually works well with.

      • Laykun
      • 4 years ago

      How many people could actually afford the VR of the 90’s? As I understand it was limited to arcades (among it’s many many other limitations that don’t exist on today’s consumer products).

        • DPete27
        • 4 years ago

        Aw man, remember that gunner turret arcade game with the dome that came down over your head with the handlebars!!! That was pretty friggin sweet at the time.

        • swaaye
        • 4 years ago

        The PC gear was around $800- $1000. Forte VFX-1 and Virtual IO iGlasses were the main ones. MechWarrior 2 and Flight Unlimited were neat. But almost nobody cared and here we are today talking about it again as if it’s new.

        You wouldn’t think it would need to be $700 anymore. It’s interesting how expectations have warped that. I seriously doubt a ~$700 helmet is going to sell today either. It’s gonna be niche again.

        I think simmers get super excited about VR. But of course that is niche.

      • thesmileman
      • 4 years ago

      “The first hand experiences I’ve read don’t sound very good either. Latency. head fatigue and determining just what kind of game it actually works well with.”

      Then you haven’t read about games like Job Simulator.

      • sreams
      • 4 years ago

      “…but it’s too expensive to really go anywhere. ”

      About the same price as a 64GB iPhone 6S Plus. That probably won’t go anywhere either.

        • nanoflower
        • 4 years ago

        The clear difference being the iPhone can be used anywhere. The VR kit is stuck by your PC. It’s also limited to whatever programs/games support it. That’s going to limit how quickly people outside of the early adopters decide that VR is something that is worth spending their money on.

    • allreadydead
    • 4 years ago

    Compared specs to it’s direct rival Oculus RIFT VR set, HTC Vive has really good price. The package has 2 controllers and 2 motion tracking cameras that RIFT lacks of. Hell, RIFT does not even have proper tracking of the user yet. And they will include the controller for a price.
    The price itself may be high and it’s sure too high for me too, but as many said, early adapters always pays more. IMHO, if you expect big price falls in this segment of VR sets, you should be aiming for 2017…

    Anyways, Looks like HTC Vive won the first round of the VR game… Which is really overdue. Now, we will see the PC, Console Indusrty’s response to VR and game will be on again.

      • Billstevens
      • 4 years ago

      The HMDs aren’t getting cheaper in a year. Mass manufacturing is a long ways out since mass adoptions is many years away. The Vive and Rift HMD have mostly the same or similar components. The Rift is more refined in the way of ergonomics, lens technology and audio, but none of their differentiation seems to be clear win over the Vive HMD offers nearly identical performance.

      Those that can’t wait for touch or felt cheated by Oculus because they delayed their motion controls, will definitely be jumping on the HTC boat at this price. The first few rounds of VR devices wont matter much. Its great for early adopters that these both look awesome devices, but real market share and mass adoption are probably more than 3 generations of VR headset away. So there is time to adjust a winning strategy. I think most of the tech industry at this point agrees it was probably a mistake not to push motion controls harder for the Rift in light of HTCs device, but most Oculus supporters are fine waiting for touch.

      Oculus say they plan to iterate new version quickly as new tech comes out. I would expect Valve to keep pace with or without HTC. HTC seems shaky to be banking on VR making any money any time soon but I think Valve will stay in the VR game long term.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 4 years ago

    Well it’s a high price, but it’s the same as the latest iThing.

      • brucethemoose
      • 4 years ago

      Indeed. People don’t bat an eye paying $700 for an unlocked 6s plus.

        • swaaye
        • 4 years ago

        Help me understand why that is.

          • brucethemoose
          • 4 years ago

          Err, supply and demand?

          A high-end smartphone is worth $700 to some people.

          • travbrad
          • 4 years ago

          A smartphone can be used anywhere at any time, and an iThing is also partially a fashion accessory/status symbol. Most people feel like they need a smartphone of some kind (even if it’s not $700) but most people probably don’t feel like they need a VR headset (if they even know such a thing exists). These VR headsets right now are mostly limited to a potential market of gamers with high-end PCs, whereas smartphones have a potential market of almost everyone.

          I personally don’t think it’s worth spending $700 on a phone or VR at the moment, but they really are completely different devices used for completely different reasons.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 4 years ago

      I think a lot of people can rationalize an “iThing” (or equivalent non-Apple “toy”) because they are often “self-contained” in that you can purchase just that device and then have 90+% of the “experience” without purchasing anything else.

      VR solutions like the Vive or Rift are different because they are nearly useless without a $1000+ pc. I know they have announced that magical 970/290 min spec, but I’m thinking that most users will want something a little more potent. So I don’t believe it’s unthinkable for consumers to feel like they need to spend more like $1500 on a pc to get the proper “experience”.

      But again, that’s different from something like an iPad. If you’ll forgive an anecdote, I’ll share that my parents recently let me know that they dumped nearly $900 on an iPad Pro. That’s not the smartest purchase in my book, but all they wanted was an iPad with a bigger screen. No pen, no keyboard, they are ready to roll with just that ~$900 device. They instantly get the experience that they wanted without any prerequisites.

      However, in the infamous [url=https://youtu.be/kvZAVrMuklE<]VR LA presentation[/url<], amd's Roy Taylor mentioned that the install base of PCs meeting the VR min spec is only 7.5 mil machines. That compares poorly even to the current-gen console install base of over 50 mil devices. It compares even more poorly to the hundreds of millions of people around the world that can go out and flippantly buy an iPad (or similar device) and be satisfied. So I don't think it's fair to compare a $600+ vr headset to an "iThing". VR has a long road ahead of it.

    • Billstevens
    • 4 years ago

    This is the cheapest anyone thought this would be after the Rift price announce. $600 hmd plus about $200 for the controllers. The people who were planning on preordering should be happy.

    • WhatMeWorry
    • 4 years ago

    A game called “Job Simulator”. Wow, that sounds fun 🙂

      • dmjifn
      • 4 years ago

      It looks like a low-res concoction of “Bakery Story” meets “Goat Simulator”.

      • travbrad
      • 4 years ago

      All the fun of menial labor without the paycheck!

        • yogibbear
        • 4 years ago

        Nah, see it’s a test to see if they can trick you into doing a job without paying you. Just wait until you’re controlling 1000’s robots with a single VR unit doing actual people’s jobs and then your internet connection drops and all those planes you were piloting crash!

      • thesmileman
      • 4 years ago

      It actually is really fun.

    • thedosbox
    • 4 years ago

    I’m not sure why anyone is surprised at the price. HTC hinted that it would be at a “premium” price point over a year ago:

    [url<]http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/03/htc-exec-expect-a-slightly-higher-price-point-for-valves-vive-vr/[/url<] Unlike Oculus, they also include the motion tracking controllers (Oculus haven't announced a price or date for theirs yet).

      • Billstevens
      • 4 years ago

      No one who was paying attention was surprised, though had the Rift not came out at $600 I think people would have been surprised.

    • DancinJack
    • 4 years ago

    This doesn’t really seem outrageous.

    I really wish Oculus hadn’t implied first gen consumer VR would be “around $350.” These prices totally make sense for what you are getting, but Oculus ruined it for everyone I think.

      • Voldenuit
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]I really wish Oculus hadn't implied first gen consumer VR would be "around $350." These prices totally make sense for what you are getting, but Oculus ruined it for everyone I think.[/quote<] I think they mostly ruined it for themselves. Once they put their foot in their mouth, it was sony and htc's move.

      • Billstevens
      • 4 years ago

      Oculus didn’t… Palmer did on reddit. I would fault him for screwing the PR up on this except that it is still pretty awesome that Palmer actually talks about his work on Reddit and does AMAs. Good luck getting someone important from Sony or HTC on reddit to talk VR.

      Oculus’s only official price from their launch announcement last year was $1500 for PC + Rift.

    • brothergc
    • 4 years ago

    799 bucks , wow wonder what their smokin’ LOL I could buy a whole pc for that price

      • Den
      • 4 years ago

      Good luck finding a low-persistence, high refresh rate >1080p OLED screen for less than that except for in the Oculus Rift…

      • travbrad
      • 4 years ago

      980ti/Fury X for $650? I could buy a whole PC for that price.

      i7-5960X for $1000? I could buy a whole PC for that price.

      4K/Ultrawide Gsync monitor for $1000? I could buy a whole PC for that price.

      1TB PCIe SSDs for $1000? I could buy a whole PC for that price.

      All are true but there are still some people who buy them. This is a high-end early adopter enthusiast product. Of course it’s expensive. You will need a fairly expensive PC to run games well on it in the first place too.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 4 years ago

        Those are boring halo products. No one is designing a aaa game around an 8-core cpu or a high end monitor.

        But VR? Yeah, people are designing games just for users of VR. VR is a big deal and the price of VR is a big deal.

      • DPete27
      • 4 years ago

      That may be, but you’ll only be gaming at 1080p. A far cry from the requirements of a VR headset.

    • lmc5b
    • 4 years ago

    I know everyone will start complaining about the price, but I just have to say 2160×1200 OLED. Even if that was a monitor it would be understandable, but because it’s VR that requires sensors and all that I can’t see how anyone can complain. It’s early adopter season for VR and for OLED and I expect both to come down in price hand in hand in a few years.

      • Voldenuit
      • 4 years ago

      I think the initial sticker shock of the Oculus, combined with expectations that the Vive would be significantly more expensive, has cushioned the blow.

      If Oculus hadn’t been so cagey about the price, and been more upfront from the beginning, I think they (Oculus) would have had much less backlash. HTC played this smart, IMO.

      I’ll wait till the tech gets cheaper (and proven), but the Vive is certainly a competitive product.

    • nanoflower
    • 4 years ago

    Let me be the first to say that I would hate to see what price you were actually expecting as $799 still seems quite high to me. It’s certainly high enough that it isn’t going to sell in large numbers. Guess we are still a few years away from the year of VR.

      • Huhuh
      • 4 years ago

      To me this seems like a very reasonable price for what you get. Early adopters always pay more.

        • nanoflower
        • 4 years ago

        Oh I know early adopters always pay so much. I’m just looking at all the press that VR is getting and then the prices and seeing the disconnect because the price will keep VR out of the hands of the masses. That’s assuming the masses would really go for VR unlike the way they didn’t go for 3DTV.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 4 years ago

      I was expecting a sticker north of $1000, and I think a lot of followers of VR stuff were, too.

      • Voldenuit
      • 4 years ago

      Next year will be the year of VR.

      Sorry, Linux.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 4 years ago

        Matrox will rise again!

        • DrCR
        • 4 years ago

        Year of AMD Desktop(tm)

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