With the price of the Oculus Rift headset coming in above the expectation of many, eyes turn to competitor HTC, whose Vive system has yet to be priced. The company isn’t ready to commit to a firm price for the headset but compared the purchase to an investment by the customer.

When asked for a comment on today’s reveal of the Oculus Rift price of $600, Ryan Hoopingarner, director of VR product marketing at HTC, seemed to sympathize with the company by comparing the purchase to an investment.

“We realize that the initial purchase of a VR system is definitely an investment,” said Hoopingarner. “We feel like [customers will] be happy with the investment they’ve made in the Vive.”

htc-vive-pre-headset
See Also: HTC Reveals ‘Vive Pre’ Development Kit at CES

Although the company hasn’t set a firm price for the Vive, HTC has alluded that it will be positioned as a premium platform among VR systems. With the Oculus Rift priced at $600, and still requiring the purchase of the Touch controllers (which we expect in the $100-$200 range) to match the input capabilities of the Vive, it would seem that a Vive price anywhere under $1,000 could keep it competitive.

Oculus however, insists that the company isn’t making any money on the Rift and—with the backing of Facebook—the headset has been heavily subsidized in order to drive adoption. HTC on the other hand is a hardware company which likely needs to see a healthy return on the Vive, especially with the company’s struggling finances as of late. Given the component similarities between the two systems (a headset, two trackers, and two controllers), we’ll get a major clue as to the extent of the Rift’s subsidy once the Vive gets an official price.

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The Vive Pre, which was revealed at CES 2016 this week, is the second Vive development kit. The company says they’ll make 7,000 Vive Pre units available to developers preceding the consumer launch of the Vive which will come in April, with pre-orders for the consumer headset opening in February.

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109 COMMENTS

  1. Price I don’t care about, I want the headset with the best features. I decided on that when everyone thought the price for a rift was 300-400 USD. Also, Valve has shown time and and again they don’t release a product until it’s perfect. At the trade show, I read a story on Flipboard about how a woman tried the Vive for a while, no issues. Tried the rift, and was experiencing nausea for the rest of the day while playing adrift. No thanks.

    • If you read the article on the BBC it was down to the demo and not the headset. The controls hadn’t been set properly, they were dead, and they dropped her into a space suit spinning out of control in space with planets/space station etc spinning around her. Enough to make anyone sick so wasn’t down to the kit.

    • I read that article about the woman yesterday. They had accidentally configured the controller wrong for her private demo. So when she couldn’t move properly she started feeling sick. Eventually she pulled the headset off. The developer looked crushed at her and said, quote: “We’ve never had this reaction before,”.

    • You are thinking about Valve with Games (Software). This is hardware AND it is being primarily developed by HTC, not valve. I would still trust Oculus more on them releasing something that is ready.

      • We’ll see the final results in April I guess and go from there. Which ever one delivers the best experience I’ll go for. So far things like the ability to do room scale seems pretty cool, the idea of being able to see things RL while in vr with the front facing camera seems pretty cool in case the kids run up to me while I’m playing, or I need to check my space.

    • I’m sorry but the only thing Valve has shown “time and time again” is their total lack of respect for a given word, and that they are able to blatantly give promises that are impossible to realize. Right now they can say whatever they want for all I care. Consumer launch in 2015 … “Very very very big breakthrough” … lol

      • Everybody else seems to think it’s a great advancement in terms of safety to be able to check the real world real quick in case of… a pet straying into the area, or kid, or what have you. Or just find your ringing phone without fumbling things off your desk. Sounds to me the salt of the delay is still in that wound. I was upset too.

        • “Everybody else” exclusing Ben from RoadtoVr and other experts ;)) Well I don’t think you should let pets into your room scale VR space anyway. Not really interested. Wouldn’t even call it a “breakthrough” … just an extension of chaperone system. Very cynical on Valve’s part…but well it’s not the first time this has happened.

        • As someone who has had a DK2 for a year, it’s more of a gimmick than anything. Not once did I ever feel like having the chaperone system was something I couldn’t live without, or would even use all that often. Considering most VR games are played seated at a desk.

          • VR games will be played both seated and standing on the Vive, less so on the Rift. Even seated I like the ability to quickly see where my beer is without the need to remove HMD! :)

          • I’ve owned a Developer Kit Rift for 2 years now. The Chaperone system sounds nice…(Grabs my Rift, HD PC Camera, and VR Desktop.)

          • Exactly, though not beer for me but anything drinkable + controllers, headphones whatever. It was a pain in the a&& having to look for stuff in the rift (through the gap or removing it). This makes life so much easier and VR so much nicer to enjoy!

          • You honestly think that standing VR games, what with the cables everywhere, needing enough space near your pc to move about, will be such a big deal, that it warranted calling the front facing camera a technological break through, worthy or delaying the ship date?

            I guess some folks are easily entertained, and fooled.

          • I am also a DK2 owner and I DID in fact wish it had what vive will have. Chaperone AND proper input, CV1 ships without either of those and therefore loses to Vive. I’ll buy vive.

          • I’ve got my preorder for the rift but seriously reconsidering for the same reasons. I’m sure Rift will be fantastic. Just not as immersive as the vive.

          • I was fortunate enough to demo the Vive on their mobile tour which stopped in Portland Or. Last summer! I have to say I was floored with how immersive the experience is, I truly felt transported to another place, I left telling myself I will be first in line when the vive is released to consumers, by the way I’m 49 years old and felt so excited for this technology after trying it out…. I’ve followed rift since its Kickstarter days, but have never been able to experience the rift, this makes me a bit nervous as I preordered the rift. My decision came from rift being first to market, and the backing they have. After reading how great the Vive is being reviewed at CES I’m more nervous than ever… I hope I didn’t make a mistake on my choice.

          • I’ve got 4 months to figure out. Worst case scenario (or is it best case?) I’ll end up owning all three.

          • Just like I own a PS4 and Xbox one I will own a oculus rift and htc vive. I don’t make tons of money but I’m at the point that I have no car payments or credit card debt. Just a mortgage shared with the wife. So straight cash purchase like I did with the rift.

          • Well you can cancel the Rift at any time before dispatch and the Vive is supposed to be out sometime in April and pre-orders start in Feb so I might actually cancel my Rift and get a Vive also, guess its a waiting game for the time being.

          • I have also preordered the Rift, although I do think the Vive will be a better product. It’s all about the release time for me – I can’t wait to get my grubby mitts on one of these, either the Rift or the Vive and will be buying whichever comes out first. Price really isn’t a main point for me tbh. The Vive seems to be a bigger hit with the reporters atm with CES.

          • I’m totally with you. That is why I bought the DK2 with no intention to develop. I didn’t hesitate to pre-order the rift also due to my impatience, except now I can’t expect it until into May, which is the same time frame the Vive is supposed to be released. Well see how it works out. I just hope it isn’t one of those situations I regret after just missing it by a week or something.

          • Ok, great. It’s still not a breakthrough technology as advertised, you missed my point entirely.

          • I think proper input is key, which is why I am waiting until the Touch is launched to buy into the CV1. However, I think people are grossly overestimating the amount of people that will want to walk around their little office tethered by the head to their pc, or the amount of content that will reward you for doing so. Which is, again, my point. It is not something that could be called a technological breakthrough by any means, in my opinion.

          • Good one captain obvious. Hard hats and safety glasses are just gimmicks too if you never go outside the office.

          • Oh look, a guy on the internet who can be an arse and not really prove a point. Now I’ve seen it all.

          • So you are a guy on the internet being an arse and not prove a point by calling me a guy on the internet who can be an arse and not really prove a point. Good one.

          • lol no really man. I apologize I shouldn’t have made that comment. We’re both VR enthusiasts :D

        • if you’ve worn any type of VR headset before, then you would understand the immense benefit this functionality brings… Especially since you will probably be alternating between walking and sitting experiences frequently with the Vive.
          Not to mention the possible AR functionality this brings (maybe not initially, but they open the door to it).

    • I saw that story, I doubt (obv I can’t be 100% certain) that was the fault of the Rift, bad choice of demo, control issue or something. Its not like she tried Adrift on the Vive either, so although overall I agree the Vive is the one to get, in that case I don’t think it was a Rift issue.

      • From what I gathered, the program froze..while she kept moving. Anyone would feel nauseous at that. Unfortunately, she had the ability to get a report like that out which did no good for the Rift. I felt her story was a little irresponsible tbh.

      • I don’t think it will ever be perfect, it’s basically a hybrid controller. It won’t do what a keyboard and mouse can do as well as a keyboard and mouse, nor will it do what an xbox controller can do as well as it can.

  2. Definitely overpriced for just a peripheral for insanely expensive PC (with 2 good games). Everyone should wait with shopping until summer or even later. Goggles twice more expensive than GPU – this is insane!!

      • No, its a peripheral. otherwise my monitor/kb/mouse would be a ‘platform’. If it had its own cpu/gpu etc.. I would then concur.. it doesn’t! its an input/output device for your pc…. so its a peripheral!

        • But if you buy a 4K gaming monitor, mechanical keyboard and 10 button mouse I would label it a gaming platform. Otherwise Google cardboard and Oculus Rift are the same when you simply label them as peripherals. Or comparing a nvidia 210 to a nvidia 980ti; there is a clear distinction between the two in their intended use. A platform at least in this sense is more verb than noun. It’s what you’re going to do with the peripherals that defines the platform.

          • I know internet terminology has got muddy and potentially misused for a while but technically them alone are not a platform, i.e. you can’t buy those 3 items and start playing! the brains of the operation is still missing :)

            To say a VR headset and controllers is “not a peripheral” as someone said previously is wrong. They are still input/output devices for another ‘platform’.

        • …me thinks paying $80 a month for 2 years for a cell phone is expensive…the real challenge is not the cost, the challenge is keeping VR really interesting. the industry will take baby steps on quality, Vive is impressive and casual users will be using Cardboard. Yes, bound to be low volume, but features like Lighthouse (for the Chaperone, or finding the hand controllers in the dark) are remarkably smart…

    • Re: “Goggles twice more expensive than GPU”
      Ridiculous – Nvidia’s recommended “VR ready” card is a GeForce GTX970 – so around a
      $300 video card. People routinely spend “twice that” $600 on a nice
      display.

      This *IS* a display – as well as DUAL motion controllers, forward facing camera, and body/motion tracking system for input.

    • insanely expensive is a bit dramatic. Peeps been spending $1000 on a PC for years. I bet you could build/buy something comparable for $700, especially 4 months down the road. You can pay $400 for a PS4 and have a lesser experience with PSVR. They’ll be great games no doubt, but lower tech.

    • “Overpriced” is very relative… It’s not when you compare with pro headsets.
      And it’s not “just a peripheral”, it’s a new platform. Actually VR is theorically the ultimate platform, because it can contain all other platforms, past, present and future.

    • Never tried the gear VR, but I have played with a few cardboard types. It’s not even in the same ballpark as my experience with the DK2 on a mediocre PC. In a nutshell – phone VR = not smooth.

        • Also something I see missing from comments a lot about Gear VR is there is no positional tracking (forward and side-to-side movements), so a huge, some would even say critical part of the VR experience is completely absent. Gear VR not even in the same ballpark as I’ve said before. I’ve played with the virtual cinema app, and it was sad by comparison. I think once people have tried a rift, you just can’t really enjoy doing it on a cell phone.

  3. I’m not sure I believe Oculus, when they say they’re selling at cost, but there’s a big difference between manufacturing in Silicon Valley and manufacturing in Korea, which could account for that. I’m very curious to see how HTC will price this. If they can somehow match the Rift price, they own the market.

    • Jason – I don’t understand your point.
      What does the price of a PC to run the software have to do with the VR equipment?
      Q: How much do you think a PC to run the Oculus will cost?
      [hint] Exactly the same.

      Now… PC aside (being equal) – of course the Vive will cost more, example reasons:
      1) [possible] If Facebook is subsidizing & selling “at/near cost” as P.Luckey says, they could/would afford to do this to get buy-in, where-as with HTC it’s far more likely they require a decent profit (unless Valve is somehow subsidizing).
      2) Controllers included – Oculus will charge extra, so take that $600 and ADD whatever their controller price is. Now that can be used for better comparison
      3) More hardware/tech in their solution – Controllers aside, Vive includes the Lighthouse laser (full body movement) tracking transmitters, as well as a built-in camera.

  4. This boils down to one of two possibilities. Either you buy it or you don’t. Either way everyone will complain about the price.
    I fall into the I bought it and it better be worth every cent crowd. But looking back I’ve wasted more money in upgrading my phones every year.

  5. I played Adr1ft for 5 minutes at VRLA and it made me want to puke.
    I told the guy who equally didn’t listen.
    Its a stupid game.
    Astronauts are trained for zero g,
    People aren’t
    DDUUUUHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

    btw. I told them to make it self right AT LEAST

  6. Well I wouldn’t buy an oculus for 500 quid. (The UK price)
    So we will all rush out and buy a Vive at closer to a grand… LOL. What nonsense.
    Give it 6 months they will drop huge on price.

    Its just corporate greed. Mass produced (literally millions of units)
    Of a few bits of plastic, glass, printed circuitry etc. Some mechanized production, some outsourced production lines on MINIMUM wage.
    And it still costs 500 quid per unit to manufacture….subsidized.Seriously?
    Who do they think is “buying” this?

    It is estimated that 6 to 7 million..MILLION PC (not mobile) PC VR units will sell in 2016 alone. So take Oculus as “Just” 2 million units.at 600 bucks. .Thais a revenue return of 1.2 BILLION dollars.

    And they aren’t making a profit? ROFL.

    Yes development would have cost some… but not a billion dollars.
    So it takes 1.2B for the aforementioned parts and minimum wage.
    And remember that some of the development cost was returned by selling thousands of Dev units at 300-350 bucks over the last few years.

    If this was a fair launch. There would not be any controversy, over expectations, or the ridiculous price.
    But as the internet is ON FIRE with anger and disapoinmet. well…..

  7. I’m most likely going to get both the vive (unless it’s $1000+) and rift this gen just to test things out and see where they are going to go with stuff myself, but personally worried about both headsets futures. I’m not interested in the PS VR system because it’s game console exclusivity limits it’s potential too much in my opinion (maybe if they allowed it to be used on pc’s at some point; by then I’m sure we’ll have sorted out whats good and whats not, have better cross device standards etc. and will only need our one hmd).

    Oculus owned by Facebook has never ceased to send off alarms in my mind. I never really used facebook a lot, but even less so now with the mess the feed has become (I think it’s the ads or something…) and them tracking you everywhere (you don’t even have to be logged in =_=’…). The exclusives situation is also making me worried; if I wanted a console experience I would be playing xbox and ps4. I guess I’m more or less worried that they end up pursuing an exclusive app store that won’t let a user run things outside of the store on the device in future iterations/updates/whatever.

    On the Vive’s side of things, I’m worried about them trying to push the whole “room scale” experience too much. Really… I think it will end up similar to the MS Kinect for the average user and will be seen as a cheap demo gimmick more than anything else. I can see it being useful for certain things, but I find games are more about being able to explore more than a small room sized space (I mean there are some gimmicks to get around this like walking to a “wall” spins the world around and forces the user to physically turn around to keep going or something?). It’s nice to know the potential is there for tracking on a such a scale and should prove to mean that smaller movements, object tracking, etc. will potentially be less inconvenient than the like 3×3 space or whatever the oculus uses. I think that the real benefit of such tracking will be like using a wireless controller or audio/chat headset versus being wired in; it will allow for better multi-tasking and such without having to put down the controllers/headsets as often (like I can continue to chat with friends on my wireless audio headset when I go to grab a snack or something versus having to “brb/afk”). I like the potential, but I hope devs don’t try to rush things and force it on us too fast too soon.

    As for motion tracking controls; yes they will be interesting and have potential, but we have had motion tracking for years now with the wii, kinect, ps wands (whatever they called it) and even further back. They work okay and improvements in tech will have them working even better with the vive and rift, but they are kind of chained to reality’s physics. You can swing a sword, point a gun, but there are limits. Just look at any action combat MMO’s, fighting games, etc. and try reproducing some of the special attacks motions in real life (at best we could have the motion track certain motions to start combos/specials or something). I’m sure there will be work arounds eventually, but it will require a different approach than most people will be used to (like the aforementioned track certain motions and the game does the rest of the combo for you: ex. slash an x motion while taking a quick step forward to do a slash combo with a front flip over the enemy).

    The point of vr is to not be chained to physical limitations, so motion tracking will only be around for a short period of time and instead we’ll see it replaced with more thought interface approaches (hopefully within the next 10 years or so; there are some really basic things for this out there already and tech advances quickly, so it shouldn’t be too long). We’ll probably also start to see tech that can directly input information to the brain too (so we’ll be able to both “send” and “receive”) become more advanced and potentially consumer friendly within the next 10 years. This is another reason I think room scale tracking is pointless; it physically limits you to the physics, gravity, scale, etc. of the space you are in. Well, room scale is something we can do now at least (and isn’t as limiting as the rifts tracking range).

  8. I really Hope Vive will be no more than $800. I plan on having all the VR headsets at some point. I can’t wait to start designing games for the VIVE. The possibilities are endless. I mean, you can hold a flashlight and actually use your hand to point it wherever you want! That will make for some very scary games.

  9. Definitely NOT happy with my purchase. Their is not a single GOOD game for the system. Its sad when Job Simulator is considered a legitimate launch title. Waste of money until they have real software. Hardware is fantastic.