The HTC Vive virtual reality headset is now at its cheapest yet. After slashing $200 off its retail price, interested customers may now purchase one for just $599. If they do, they'll get three free games — Google's Tilt Brush, EverestVR, and Richie's Plank Experience — alongside a Viveport trial.
Now Is The Best Time To Get An HTC Vive
It's still much more expensive than the Oculus Rift, which also had its price slashed from $599.99 to $399.99, but only for a limited time. Both represent astounding discounts for what's seen as the next big thing in gaming. Lots have been said about VR, but out of all complaints, perhaps the most talked about is the cost involved to setup a full-fledged VR system.
Bringing the Vive's price down to $599 at least gives some users extra budget to spend on a more powerful PC that supports the headset, if they don't already have one.
To sweeten the deal further, HTC will also throw in three free games, which are listed above. In addition, customers will get a Viveport subscription, which is a service that lets users try five VR titles each month, akin to Netflix but for gaming.
HTC Vive vs Oculus Rift
The HTC Vive launched last April for $799, offering room-scale virtual experiences, which essentially means the device determines where the user is on a given plane and integrates that into gameplay. At the time, the competing Oculus Rift didn't have room-scale capabilities, which set the HTC Vive apart.
A lot has changed since then. Now, the Oculus Rift supports room-scale VR experiences, albeit with a little help, and it's much cheaper, too. Dropping the price was Facebook's way of making VR more affordable. HTC's move makes sense if it aims to compete with Facebook's aggressive pricing. Still, the company says the price drop was planned long before Facebook slashed the Oculus Rift's cost. In the end, competition is always better for consumers.
"We know price is just one component of a purchase decision, but when you line up all that Vive offers, we're building a complete VR ecosystem that customers can rely on today and for years to come," announced Vive.
There's Still A Big Problem With VR
A price drop of the headset is just one thing, however. Costs associated with the need to buy powerful PCs is one hurdle VR must solve in order to improve adoption rates. Imagine if anyone can just buy a full-fledged VR headset and get it working right off the bat. It remains uncertain if that's possible, but eschewing costly requirements and peripherals would surely make VR headsets more attractive purchases.