Tales of the Rampant Coyote

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Vive Fires the Next Shot in the VR Price Wars

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 22, 2017

With competition heating up in the VR space, and the price drop on the Oculus, HTC is finally responding with a price drop of their own.

The Vive is now “only” $599

Granted, $600 is a lot to drop on what is still more of a toy for most people. Plus the cost of the computer powerful enough to run it. The Oculus Rift is still looking like it is the cheaper product overall, currently on sale from its already discounted price, but in order to get room-scale VR you are still going to have to buy a new camera, which will mean the real price difference for room-scale will only be about $40.

I think the Vive is a bit cleaner of an installation overall, especially for Room Scale, but… really, the two are pretty comparable.

I guess in an era where people are buying a new $500+ phone every couple of years, the price may not be that extreme. Still seems that way to me. I wish I was rich enough where $600 was an impulse buy. It’s still early adopter technology, and the software available for VR are only beginning to have some pretty decent entries.

As usual, there’s a chicken-and-egg problem with hardware and software… the software drives the sales of the hardware, but software budgets will stay conservative until there’s a solid (expected) install base. SteamDB estimates 350k-375k users of SteamVR, which I expect includes most Vive and Oculus users. I’ve noticed that many VR games now have commercial licenses available, specifically geared towards VR arcades. Will the price drops increase sales? I’d assume so.

I suspect the next generation of hardware will be where it really gets mainstream, but the price drops on both current-gen products are a nice start.

Filed Under: Virtual Reality - Comments: Read the First Comment

  • Kyosho said,

    After seeing Tested’s recent video with Valve’s “Knuckle” controllers for the Vive, they seem great. I’m betting once those come out, the bundle with the current controllers will probably go down in price even further. I know the knuckles have showed up at several recent conventions, but they look nearly complete.

    Video in question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80-PImIWq7Q