VR's getting cheaper for everybody. As of today, HTC is dropping the price of the Vive headset to $600 (and £600), bringing it closer to the recently reduced price of the Oculus Rift headset. While the Oculus is still available for $400 (opens in new tab) as part of a summer sale, that price will soon rise to $500, including the Rift and its Touch controllers and a nice collection of free games. The Vive also comes with its own pair of Touch controllers and a one month free subscription to Viveport (opens in new tab), which includes access to software like Tiltbrush and Everest VR.
"We feel like we've delivered on the best VR system, and we're really starting to build out our ecosystem and the partners that are coming to work with us," said Dan O'Brien, general manager of Vive in the US. We've been in market for about a year and a half at our full price, and now as we go into our second holiday season, we really want to think about the right ways to boost our VR adoption across the globe and bring in more consumers. This will make things healthier for our content creators and our accessory partners. We're setting the price of the consumer version of the HTC Vive to $599."
I asked HTC if there was a plan to bundle the Vive's Deluxe Audio Strap with the headset, or offer a discount for new buyers. , the much more comfortable (and more supportive) strap is a huge improvement over the Vive's original. O'Brien said there's currently no plan for a bundle or to replace the original strap.
"We talked to a lot of people in the developer community and we heard both sides of it, where people would like audio predefined from an audio headstrap standpoint, and some people that really felt like hey, these early adopters, they really like to use their own audio… I think as we start to approach and get into a more early mass adopter, those consumers are looking for htat headstrap built-in solution. So right now we're comfortable making the audio headtrap an add-on option for consumers, because we know we still sell Vive to very opinionated customers, so we want to give users that option for now. We'll think about having that bundled at a later point."
"We don't publicly confirm what our sales numbers are, but we can share that we're very comfortable with the marketshare data that's been identified, and what percentage of the marketshare we believe users are using on Steam, versus other products. We're very proud of those numbers. With this price drop we're planning to continue that marketshare growth and position."
The Vive's new price is in effect as of today, August 21. The deluxe audio strap adds another $100 on top, if you want the best Vive experience.