! The HTC Vive Costs $799/£560, Shipping Starts April

HTC and Valve have just broken cover with price information on their much-anticipated upcoming Vive VR hardware, and it’s bad news if you were hoping it’d be cheaper than the contentious $600/£500/€700 pricetag on the Oculus Rift.

Hell, it’s bad news if you were hoping it’d cost the same – in fact, the headset, wireless motion controller & location-tracking base station package costs an almighty $200 more than the Oculus. Though it is a bigger bundle of hardware (and theoretically capable of many more things) than the Rift, bear in mind the quoted $799 price is before we even know the full damage of shipping and tax.

First up, here’s a look at the consumer version of the hardware (also pictured above):

Granted, it’s a big bundle of hardware: while the Rift is ‘just’ a headset and a desk-mounted head-tracking sensor, the Vive includes two of Valve’s wavy-wand motion controllers, ‘lighthouse’ base stations to track whereabouts in your room you are and a front-facing camera on the headset to help you avoid obstacles.

HTC also announced today that the whole shebang can hook up with your mobile phone: you can “receive and respond to both incoming and missed calls, get text messages and send quick replies and check upcoming calendar invites directly through the headset”, without having to leave your virtual reality wonderland. The IV food-drip add-on can’t be far behind, right?

Pre-orders open on the 29th Feb – i.e. next Monday – with the initial batch of purchases set to arrive in April. I’m guessing that, as with the Oculus, that date will become later if you’re not amongst the first-flush of pre-orderers.

And I wonder how many of those there will be, given they each need to find $799 plus an as-yet unknown extra for shipping and tax. If, in the impossible event the $799 figure is the complete total, the Vive won’t cost dramatically more than the Rift did, but more likely there’ll be up to $100 more – so we’re looking at final invoice which rivals that of a brand-new mid-spec PC.

At current exchange rate, the price comes to £555 and €717, and I’m guessing that the final total will be something like £650 and €800.

While the price is a shocker, don’t forget that Oculus are not including any motion controllers with the Rift and will instead charge separately for them – though they won’t even be available at launch. At least the Vive comes with everything in the box. You’ll also get ‘free’ copies of Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption (the Rift comes with EVE Valkyrie and Lucky’s Adventure instead).

Man, what a big number, though. I want one of these so badly, but unless I can convince my partner that we’re not having a holiday and/or hot dinners this year, it ain’t happening right away.

I understand that the Vive couldn’t realistically be cheap and that the price is very probably a fair one for what’s involved: this is a major piece of hardware, not a mere peripheral, but $799+ is very much locking VR’s most exciting contender off to a relatively rare few for the time being. And here was me worried that the $600 Rift risked stopping VR before it could truly get started…

A few more details and quotes are available here, but we won’t know the full costs and timelines until pre-orders open on the 29th.

If you do have the money to spare but remain torn on which hardware to get, here’s how the Vive and Rift compare, based on what we know so far.

117 Comments

  1. Cinek says:

    Not bad at all. Though I guess people that expected Vive to be below price of Oculus are going to be damn disappointed.

    • Mr_Blastman says:

      It is a matter of practicality and marketability. 800 bucks for a gaming peripheral is ridiculous. VR is dead. These idiots killed it before it even went on sale.

      It doesn’t matter what excuse or reason you present to the public–folks will look at the price, balk and when sales don’t generate enough volume, game developers will stop supporting it or creating content designed around it altogether–that or it will be a premium product that costs an absurd amount of money.

      They had a chance here to re-ignite VR… to mass market it… but alas, they have failed. If anyone in their industry didn’t notice, but we are on the cusp of a global recession.

      • Psycold says:

        One of the dumbest things I’ve read on the internet in a while. Congrats.

        • fish99 says:

          He’s right though, at this price VR is an irrelevance and with no installed consumer base there’s little incentive for devs to support it.

          • Mr_Blastman says:

            Precisely this. These VR setups need to be sold as loss leaders, subsidized with software titles that are sold separately to generate profits.

            Eight hundred dollars plus another four hundred or so for a graphics upgrade is twelve hundred bucks! Many folks these days just don’t have that kind of money to spend.

            VR failed in the past because it was too expensive… Don’t they pay attention to history?

        • Averum says:

          I happen to agree here. They have some huge hurdles to overcome and I feel like getting the hardware into more users hands would have helped everyone in the long run.
          They need market penetration. They need to establish a user base. This in turn promotes and motivates developers to build games and content for their systems. The hefty price tag is going to hurt them in the short-term. If they can overcome this in the long-term is yet to be seen.

          Right now we are looking at an $800 VR headset. A headset that requires a very solid PC to power it. A huge majority of PC games will not meet these requirements. Which means they will first need a new system or at the very list a few costly upgrades. The ability to adopt this new hardware quickly spirals into the $1k+ region.

          Gaming as a whole, is a pretty “cheap” hobby when compared to other things. Developers know this and they know that most people are not running state of the art systems. Thats why a huge number of games take stylized approaches to graphics. Giving them the ability to cater to people with less than stellar hardware. The more people you can accommodate, the more money you can make.

          Both of the first generation VR systems run counter to that.

      • Premium User Badge

        Herring says:

        I don’t know. 500+ quid for a HOTAS setup is pretty steep; dual Titan-X’s aren’t freebies and multiple 30-inch monitors are a pretty penny. And I know people that have bought all those things for the games they love.

        It’s a niche market, but then all tech is. The original Voodoo GFX cost an arm and a leg and was equally niche. That turned out ok :)

        • Averum says:

          Yeah, but do we want to see this as a niche market. With only a handful of titles. Kin to something like a fancy flight sim setup or do we want to see it part of everyones gaming setup?

          • Stevostin says:

            What part about the Voodoo precedent didn’t you get exactly?

          • Averum says:

            Graphics cards already existed before Voodoo. I do not consider that to be a proper or fair comparison in this particular situation. This is an entirely new field and not an upgrade/expansion to existing technology.

  2. Cinek says:

    Granted, it’s a big bundle of hardware: while the Rift is ‘just’ a headset and a desk-mounted head-tracking sensor, the Vive includes two of Valve’s wavy-wand motion controllers, ‘lighthouse’ base stations to track whereabouts in your room you are and a front-facing camera on the headset to help you avoid obstacles.

    ^ That’s inaccurate. Oculus also got a controller (one from Xbone), its equivalent of lighthouse (only it’s IR based), build in headset (which I understand is missing from Vive) and a remote (whatever the heck it’s suppose to do).

    • try2bcool69 says:

      Really, the point is, you’re getting the full experience for that price with the Vive. The Xbone controller is a placeholder until the Rift controllers are finished…at which point you’re going to have to shell out an as-yet-to-be-announced price for them, in addition to the $600 the head unit costs.
      You could add an Xbone controller to the Vive, (or a 360 controller that you probably already have) any time you wish.

      • Cinek says:

        Please, don’t use marketing BS “full experience“. There are games for controllers, there are games for HOTAS, there are games for driving wheel, there are games for KB&M, and there are games for whatever this hand thing is. None of these alone will give you “full experience“.

        at which point you’re going to have to shell out an as-yet-to-be-announced price for them” – Alec’s pointing that out further on in the article. I’m just pointing out that his description of what is available with Oculus is inaccurate.

        • Zenicetus says:

          Right, there are different market segments, and not everyone is waiting for Rift controllers.

          Everyone currently flying Elite:D with the Rift is happily using HOTAS controls, which are a perfect fit for the application. Other flight sim titles are waiting for VR support where people already have all the peripherals they need.

          For someone like me who is into flight sims, having to pay for controllers I probably won’t use is actually a mark against the Vive. Although, I’ll still make an eventual decision based on who supports what, and reviews on the user experience including comfort, eye strain, etc. For me, it’s way too early for a pre-order.

        • Arithon says:

          To be fair, the Oculus costs £530 inc Xbox1 wireless controller. The Vive will cost £550 + shipping + 20% VAT (so £675+). So unless the Oculus motion controllers cost MORE than £145, you could still buy them without the Oculus costing a penny more than the Vive.
          All you’d get extra with the Vive would be the camera.
          The point here is that I DON’T WANT motion controllers, so for me they’re money wasted on an accessory I’ll not use. So that’s a £145 saving for me by getting the Oculus. Which could more than cover the costs of a graphics upgrade when the mid-range Pascal cards hit retail.

    • Dr_Barnowl says:

      You can’t really compare a mass-market console controller that probably cost them less than $20 to stick in the box with the extra gear you’re getting with a Vive though.

      its equivalent of lighthouse (only it’s IR based)

      I think this where their clever bits differ : the Oculus solution tracks the headset which has a bunch of IR lights on the outside – the headset is the passive component. Lighthouse enables the headset to track it’s location relative to the beacons.

      Oculus therefore needs IR cameras to track the headset, and it’s probably going to be hard to use multiple headsets in the same field.

      Lighthouse should mean that you can extend the playfield as far as you can place satellites, and have multiple headsets in the same field.

      What we currently lack is any indication of which, if any, has the better image quality. My office is a tiny boxroom – I can touch both walls from where I sit, I’m not going to have extended VR fun without moving my PC downstairs and recalibrating everything. I’d really like to know which headset has the better image quality.

      • Cinek says:

        Obviously these are different types of controllers, but my point being – Oculus does provide a controller, it’s not “‘just’ a headset and a desk-mounted head-tracking sensor“.

        As for the sensor – obviously Oculus is designed to run solo, seating. Kind of in a “cockpit” environment. Vive allows you to do this and standing, “Wii U-alike”, environment. Personally I have zero interest in there, but if someone thinks of it as an important feature, than he pretty much doesn’t have a choice.

        As for image quality… ideally it’s something you’d have to compare yourself, though AFAIK both headsets will be very similar.

      • Dave L. says:

        Re: image quality. I’ve used both, they’re basically identical, quality wise. Though I don’t know if Valve has released the firmware that enables the mure rendering stuff, which supposedly makes it look a lot better.

    • Jokerme says:

      Let me guess. You bought an Oculus Rift.

      • Cinek says:

        Yep, just like most people who made up their mind that they want to get a VR set. If Vive would be better I can always cancel, but meanwhile I have a reserved slot.

        • Psycold says:

          I already ordered a Rift and have had 3 dev kits before that, but the VIVE is superior technology and I will be ordering one then likely selling the Rift.

    • Felix says:

      Actually, you’re response is more inaccurate. The article does mention Oculus’ head tracking (the lighthouse “equivalent” you mention) and the Vive does come with earphones and the ability to use your own headphones (which can be extended with a cable built into the Vive headset). The Oculus remote is for non-gaming purposes.

    • SuicideKing says:

      By Occulus’ own statement, the cost to add the controller was negligible, and iirc the remote was sold separately.

  3. Demon Beaver says:

    That video has a certain soft-core quality to it

  4. cunningmunki says:

    Honestly, considering all the hardware involved, I was expecting a price tag of at least £800+.

    I’m actually pleasantly surprised!

    • Rodman1_r2 says:

      So basically, the Vive will cost about the same as 1 carbon bicycle (front) wheel, or about 40% of the cost of a wheelset. As expensive hobbies go, it’s still pretty cheap, *relatively*.

      or another comparison, it’ll cost a little less than 1/3 the price of a decent, midrange road bike (midrange bike ~$3000).

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        Y’know…I was going o_o despite the price vaguely matching expectations (it’s still a big number), but that’s a good bit of context there. More up my ally, these VR things are also cheaper than a decent set of skis+boots, even after taxes, and you don’t have to pay out the nose each day you use ’em. (A moot point if you hike up, but still…)

        It’ll be interesting to see how quickly round 2 of these devices comes around.

      • SuicideKing says:

        As another comparison, it’s the same as an iPhone 6 or iPad Air

        • jezcentral says:

          Or twice the amount of the _minimum_ GPU needed to run it.

          This isn’t for me, my GPUs are a Titan and a 980M, but for those who’ve spent enough to beat the minimum specs, this isn’t so bad. (And yes, I understand how appalling seeming so blithe might sound to some).

          Mass-market and therefore affordability will come later.

          • Rodman1_r2 says:

            Will it? Smartphones have been around a while, but new they’re still $600, but they’re just sold in away that most people can afford them – plus phones are necessary for modern life. Can the mass market/most people really afford another $25-50+ monthly (over two years – equivalent) expense, for a piece of entertainment? Consoles are mass market, but they’re less than half the cost (headset and system to buy in) than VR is…

            Just a thought. Also, while I brought up the example of the cost of cycling as a hobby, not many people are hardcore cyclists, way less than the number of ppl who play videogames – most regular people who buy bikes buy something that’s <$1000 and only buy once every 5-10 years, probably. So, maybe it'll stay niche, like high end cycling is?

          • Archonsod says:

            “So, maybe it’ll stay niche, like high end cycling is?”

            Quite likely for the foreseeable future. Unless they manage to do a VR version of The Sims or World of Warcraft anyway. Although I suspect it’s always going to be niche due to it’s very nature – like most peripherals it suits certain types of game but is inferior to what we already have for others.

          • klops says:

            You don’t have to pay $600 for a smartphone. There are a phones many times cheaper than 600 dollars.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Now, i said many times that i still don’t believe in VR and especially these first iterations, but this comparison in particular is rather stupid.

            The “minimum” you’re referring to is pure marketing and nothing else, it really has no hope to work. The first wave of yet untested VR hardware is a niche that makes the most sense to the kind of people that would have little problems putting the new Pascal Titan on preorder without even waiting for the benchmarks.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Now, after further re-reading i know it might sound like we’re said almost the same thing, but my actual point is that i hope people aren’t making huge sacrifices on something like this and can instead afford this and money-no-object PCs with little issues.

          • jezcentral says:

            @TNG, surely it’s up to them whether they want to spend the money, no? (P.S. I didn’t spend anything on my Titan. I won it in a PC Gamer/Zoostorm competition. It’s a wonderful thing :) ).

          • jezcentral says:

            @TNG. Bah! Sorry, didn’t mean to crow about my good fortune. Just re-read you, and you said Pascal, not Kepler.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Off course it’s perfectly their prerogative, i just feel sorry for those who think they can jump in something like it, while making a huge sacrifice if their disposable income isn’t up to snuff, and discover that they need another 1000 pounds or so.

            I more or less intended to say that the current VR offering is priced in a way that makes the most sense for the uber enthusiast with a lot to spend.

        • alms says:

          As a comparison, it’s also 0.0000001% of the cost of a yacht or any decently-sized building.

          You can trust me, I just asked Trump.

      • alms says:

        By the same token, a $12,000 bike is dirt cheap because a Radical SR6 costs I don’t know how many times as much, and I heard Saudi emirates strictly use golden plated cutlery.

        Unfortunately, no amount of contextualization-slash-rationalization is going to buy Alec an early adopter ticket, which most likely means RPS is not going to be able to provide any timely coverage of this type of technology, unless something changes.

        Maybe you can let him have it your old wheelset though.

        • Premium User Badge

          particlese says:

          To the Kickstartermobile!

          Seriously, I’d totally pitch in if it means RPS can view these things on equal ground and play all the games. They might need a second unit to give multiplayer reviews, though…

          • jezcentral says:

            You’re both Supporters, already. What more do RPS want? To bleed us dry? ;)

  5. Sp4rkR4t says:

    So with VAT and other things we are looking at about £650-700. That’s too much for me but as VR progresses I’m sure it will get reasonable fast. Personally I’m more interested in AR anyway.

    • Cinek says:

      So how come that the title of this article is The HTC Vive Costs $799/£560? And then in a text we have

      At current exchange rate, the price comes to £555 and €717, and I’m guessing that the final total will be something like £650 and €800.

      ? Now I am confused. Did Alec just made a typo, either in title or text?

      • lordcooper says:

        Tax and shipping.

        • Cinek says:

          Oh, ok, I get it now. 560 in title is just rounded 555, without all the additional costs.

      • Arithon says:

        $799 USD = £566.67 @ 1.41 (current rate). They will add shipping – let’s say £10 (although £15 is more likely) £576.67 + VAT @ 20% = £692. So unless the exchange rate takes a jump in our favour, the UK price of the Vive will be £692 miniumum, including shipping and VAT.
        It’s still pretty good value considering the “cutting edge” nature of the tech and what you are getting for the money.
        I opted for Oculus because their headset is lighter and the motion sensor doesn’t need wall-mounting.

  6. Elusiv3Pastry says:

    I’d really like to see a comparison of the Rift+VR treadmill vs. the Vive’s walk around the living room capability.

    I’m also waiting for some more exciting launch titles. Fantastic Contraption, that virtual art game, and Luckey’s Adventure are all nifty, but Eve Valkyrie still seems like the only “killer app” launch title so far (and it’s not really a unique killer app because I can get a similar experience with Elite Dangerous and War Thunder, minus Starbuck’s voiceover).

    • kael13 says:

      There’s also Adr1ft, or whatever it’s called.
      Lookie: link to youtu.be

      Although it won’t be exclusive to VR.

    • Cederic says:

      American Truck Simulator. Although I may have to pay my neighbour to come in to feed and change me so that I don’t have to disconnect.

      • Premium User Badge

        Aerothorn says:

        If you want to pay American Truck Simulator 24/7, there is a way to do this that actually MAKES money rather than loses it.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      You can walk around with a Rift, too. They’re marketing it as a seated experience, but if you stand up, crouch, turn around, and take a few steps, it will still track you. It just might occasionally lose you if you’re facing away from the camera and you tilt your head down so the rear tracking markers are obstructed. Lighthouse is more dependable in that situation.

  7. Chris C says:

    With VAT and shipping, I’ll be amazed if this costs any less than £699. It’s clearly a great bit of kit, but the Rift has to be a better bet at this point.

    I can’t imagine the PC required to drive this thing can be any less powerful than what’s required for the Rift either…

  8. lowprices says:

    Oof. With prices like this, I can see why there are so few big-budget VR games in development. Still, I’m sure there’ll be other games to enjoy on them.

    For other people, I mean. I certainly can’t afford/justify those prices or the price of the necessary PC upgrade.

    • kwyjibo says:

      With prices like this VR is an irrelevance. Until prices drop by over 50%, it’ll be nothing more than a niche toy similar to fancy flight/racing sim setups.

      • alms says:

        Right now I’m wondering what’s your definition for fancy.

        • wraithgr says:

          3 screen setup, trackIR, rudder pedals and a warthog? Already costs way more than the Oculus or the vive, depending on the screens…

  9. shagen454 says:

    Not really disappointing since I’ve got a mid-range compact PC that runs most intensive games on high/ultra fine but not enough for VR… I’ll wait until the industry takes off, buy a new computer and hopefully VR will be in the $400-500 range by then.

  10. FurryLippedSquid says:

    There is absolutely no way on God’s green Earth that it will convert to 560 British pounds. More like 700.

  11. melnificent says:

    Considering what happened with the Oculus drivers breaking backwards compatibility so thoroughly my biggest concern with VR is how quickly will they obsolete VR games?

    The last few big budget games (alien isolation, dying light) I’ve tried no longer work with the 0.8 drivers at all.

  12. Richard Parker says:

    Has HTC or Valve published the PC requirements to go along with this doo-hickey?

    • DoomBroom says:

      VIVE RECOMMENDED PC SPECS
      GPU: – NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 970 / AMD Radeon™ R9 290 equivalent or greater
      CPU: – Intel® i5-4590 / AMD FX 8350 equivalent or greater
      RAM: – 4GB+ Video Output: – HDMI 1.4 or DisplayPort 1.2 or newer USB Port: – 1x USB 2.0 or greater port Operating System: – Windows 7 SP1 or newer

      • Ufofighter says:

        I will wait until second or third generation of VR sets. There’s little incentive to be a first buyer of anything technological in my opinion.

      • Richard Parker says:

        Thanks!

    • emertonom says:

      They’ve even released their own benchmark. It’s called “Steam VR Performance Test,” but the search on Steam doesn’t like to bring it up–most people have to enter steam://install/323910

      There was a reddit thread about this, but I can’t find it anymore. It suggested people were having moderate luck with below-spec machines, though.

  13. Kefren says:

    I just want a headset to play these old games link to vorpx.com. Not interested in controllers, peripherals or new games that will require PC upgrades. Hopefully there will be a headset-only version at some point, with a lower price, for people like me.

    • Dr_Barnowl says:

      > no new games that will require PC upgrades.

      Even those old ones will require a more powerful rig to render in stereoscopic 3D.

    • Richard Parker says:

      Hadn’t heard of Vorpx before, so I checked it out.

      It’s a bit of a mixed bag, isn’t it? The idea of playing L4D2 again in VR would be awesome, but a bunch of games on that list seem like they would be essentially the same experience in VR as before (plus neck strain and slightly blurrier).

      For example, XCOM in VR does not look particularly inspiring: link to youtube.com

  14. lylebot says:

    “$799 plus an as-yet unknown extra for shipping and tax”

    I’m not entirely sure what you mean by this, nor do I know how VAT works over there, but since you’re using the US price here I feel obligated to say that the tax is known and easy to figure out. Just look up the sales tax rate for your locality, multiply 799 by that, and add it to 799.

    In my state, which has no sales tax, it’ll be exactly $799. In Dallas, Texas, the sales tax is 8.25%, so John Carmack will be able to buy one for $864.92. In Seattle, the sales tax is 9.5%, so Gabe Newell will be able to buy one for $874.91. Easy peasy.

    • mavrik says:

      Oh how I wish it would work like that :P

      Here it’s usually 799$ == 799EUR (!) and then the VAT is added ;)

  15. Premium User Badge

    Severn2j says:

    Thats not as bad as I was expecting. I’ve preordered the Rift and will preorder this too, then cancel whichever one doesnt arrive first. I’m figuring there’s enough demand for me to make my money back on eBay if the VR thing all goes horribly wrong, (such as giving me terrible motion sickness).

  16. DoomBroom says:

    This is great news!

    The price is lower than what I expected. It’s certainly comparable with the Rift price, considering what you get in the package and the features it provides.

    I’ll be ordering one as soon as possible.

    The possibilities with this hardware are endless! Being an artist there’s so much stuff I want to do! And it will be so fun inviting friends over for a VR party! The Rift DK2 was great fun! This will be on another level.

  17. amateurviking says:

    Who’s got two thumbs and will be sitting out this generation of VR tech?

    THIS GUY

  18. caff says:

    I’ll wait for reviews.

  19. Chaz says:

    I was thinking of ordering both and then selling one, but that price is just a little bit too rich for me.

    Also at this point in time I’m not that fussed about the whole standy up room space thing, as I have a rather small office space and not much more than about 6′ x 5′ of free living room space, so I’ll be sticking with the Rift pre-order for the moment.

    And I can’t imagine that the Rift touch controllers when they come out, will add another $200 to the bill.

  20. aircool says:

    VR is going to be out of reach for the average gamer for a long time.

    • Banks says:

      I don’t think so. I’ll be super expensive for a couple of years and then there’s going to be a massive price drop to reach the mass market. VR won’t suceed if it ain’t affordable, simply because there won’t be a decent amount of good content if the playerbase is not there.

  21. Slackar says:

    Would someone be so kind as to explain to me why Oculus Rift requires “3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port” versus Vive’s “1x USB 2.0”?

    • Dave L. says:

      Rift: 1 USB for headset, 1 USB for camera, 1 USB for Xbox Controller. Not sure what the one 2.0 port is being used for.

      Vive: 1 USB for breakout box. Lighthouses don’t connect to a PC, receivers for the wireless controllers are built into the headset.

      • Clavus says:

        The 2.0 is for the Xbox controller. The last USB is thought to be for the second tracking camera that comes with the Touch controllers.

        • BlackMageSK says:

          I think the last USB is for the silly little remote thing.

  22. Radthor Dax says:

    Why on earth is anyone surprised. When they ANNOUNCED the thing they talked about it being more of a premium product that the Rift. Oculus’ about-face on target was surprising. HTC and Valve pricing their product exactly how they said they would is not a surprise, and if it is, go back to sleep under your rock.

  23. malkav11 says:

    I am nowhere near sold enough on VR to pay $400, much less the $600-800 actually being asked. But then, being an early adopter is almost never rewarding so as long as there are enough people who do to keep development going, it’s not particularly distressing to get the cheaper, real-world-tested version that will surely come down the line instead.

  24. Premium User Badge

    syllopsium says:

    I have to say I’m still skeptical that people will want to stand up whilst using VR – I know that sitting can create inner ear/eye disconnect with a lot of people, but I still can’t see it happening.

    Note, by the way, that Sixense’s system is coming out soon. So Rift+Sixense may be a decent option.

    This so isn’t a surprise price wise, though. I get the distinct impression that various people at RPS really did think this would be a 300 quid peripheral that bolted on to their system and worked fine. Many people will need a partial or complete system upgrade to use this. All my kit is old, so it’ll be a complete new system.

    My money is on the Rift to win. It’s All About The Software Support. VR isn’t new, the problem in the past is getting it to work with software and hardware. Oculus (Facebook) are big enough to keep this going for a few years.

    • snowgim says:

      Yeah I’ve never really understood why people are so excited for the Vive over the Rift. Sure walking around in vr is cool, but for proper gaming sessions I don’t see it working that well. Especially since most people likely only have about 1m^2 to use it in. Personally, if I don’t want to move a bunch of furniture every time I want to use it, I have about 0.5m^2. Maybe a bunch of ‘tiny room’ puzzle games will come out?

      And if the Wii taught us anything it’s that people don’t want to be standing up, flailing there arms around to play a game, they want to be sitting on their arse and moving their wrist the bare mininmum.

      • BlackMageSK says:

        Here’s a super specific use case of why I’d want the larger tracking area without wanting a stand-up experience. Using a DK2 right now, and since VR doesn’t require you to be in front of your monitor, I have my peripherals spread out with my HOTAS in one corner so I don’t have to put it away all the time and it doesn’t get in the way of me just using my computer, and my wheel mounted on a chair in another corner. As it stands I have to move my tracking camera around with me depending on what I play and make sure the cables can reach all 3 positions. If I want to be a lazy slob then lighthouse fixes that issue.

  25. Raoul Duke says:

    Interesting reactions.

    Oculus: “how dare you, I hate you, I’m going to my room, I wish I was never born!”

    Valve: “it’s not that bad, of course this stuff is expensive, what do you expect, look at all the bits you get.”

    The cult of Valve is strong. Reminds me of the constant double standards about Steam and Origin displayed by RPS commenters.

    • Dave L. says:

      The Rift ‘how dare you’ reaction was a direct result of Palmer Luckey publicly stating that the ballpark target pricepoint was ‘around $350’ and then it suddenly turning out to be $600.

      HTC and Valve have always been saying that the Vive was going to be a premium product with a premium pricepoint and cost more than the Rift. They actually probably breathed a huge sigh of relief when the $600 Rift pricepoint was announced because the price gap between the products was no longer as large as they were expecting, and they’re selling a complete product, while Oculus is arguably only selling half of one.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        Regardless of what was said earlier on, you can now pay an amount of money for a thing, or you can not do that. No-one has lost anything because Oculus’ earlier prediction was too optimistic.

        Yet the price of one thing is being lauded as eminently reasonable, while the other is apparently shockingly too high.

        The big question for both is really: “how well does it work?” It’s hard to understand how anyone can have strong views until we know that. If these are as amazing as they could be, then they are a bargain. But if they aren’t then they are just hugely overpriced gimmicks.

        • Dave L. says:

          Expectations lead to reactions.

          Company One says ‘we’re probably not going to be that expensive’ and then turns out to be expensive = shock and anger.

          Company Two says ‘we are definitely going to be more expensive than Company One’ and then, shockingly, turns out to be more expensive than Company One = Yeah, that’s what you said. Okay then.

    • alms says:

      RPS commenters are known to be among the most factious of the whole thing known as Internet.

      It’s because when the Powers that Be bought off the whole site, an extra clause was signed to ensure an army of corrupted, noxious trolls would always populate the comment section.

      Luckily it’s just an isolated case, and the rest of the Internet is completely objective, and devoid of trolls.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        Ah, you must be one of these people who never complains about anything because some poor bastard in Syria or Somalia or wherever has it worse than you, and we are of course only allowed to talk about things if they are the Actual Worst Thing Ever.

        Saying that RPS commenters have weird double standards about Valve/Steam is completely unrelated to the question of whether RPS commenters are as bad as the rest of the internet (on the whole: no).

        • Zekiel says:

          I think you may have missed some sarcasm in the post to which you’re replying :-)

    • celticdr says:

      “The cult of Valve is strong” – What a load of BS. The reason for the differing reactions is because Oculus set a target of $350 US then completely reneged on that target with a massively different $600 US release price – if Palmer had just kept his big mouth shut about the price the reaction would have been exactly how it has been for the Vive: “Oh well, it’s a bit expensive but thems the breaks with VR”.

      “Reminds me of the constant double standards about Steam and Origin displayed by RPS commenters” – I don’t know where you’re getting this impression but IMHO EA’s platform is laughable in comparision to Steam when it comes to DRM, usabilty, pricing, periodical sales and game selection – perhaps this has more than anything to do with your perceived bias that RPS shows for Steam. IMO the only reason anyone would use Origin is to play EA games – for everything else Steam is superior (though it is not without its own problems).

      • Raoul Duke says:

        Don’t want to get into a whole thing with you here but:

        – Steam IS DRM, and basically identical to Origin in that regard. It also has horrible double DRM for a number of games.

        – Origin has similarly ridiculous sales to Steam.

        – Origin is more lightweight than Steam by quite some margin.

        – It could be argued that Origin has a much nicer interface.

        – Origin clearly has a superior attitude to consumer rights.

        – Steam has big picture, which is a big plus.

        I actually like/hate both of them – like the convenience, dislike the DRM. But you’ve demonstrated exactly what I’m talking about. Your comment is like a hundred others on here, which somehow twist and contort reality to reach the proposition that Steam is somehow qualitatively different to Origin when in fact they are peas in a pod. They are both, when you get down to it, tools for online DRM and marketing. The bottom line is that some people have committed to Steam and now need to justify that to themselves, while fewer people have done that with Origin.

        At least we can all hate UPlay together, right?

        • celticdr says:

          TBH I’ve never really used Origin (installed it once then soon deleted it) the only game I ever considered getting was the new SimCity however with the whole “online only” BS I gave up on that idea and stuck with Steam – at least I don’t have to put up with that for any of the Steam games I currently own.

          Plus what with EA’s old school store-bought pricing for games like Star Wars Battlefront ($90 for a digital copy WTF???) I haven’t had any desire to feed this giant corporation (which as I recall was voted the worst company in the US a few years back) more profits than it already needs.

          Yes, U-Play sucks.

        • UncleLou says:

          Origin wants to know my password every fucking time it updates (which is every time I use it, as I don’t use it very often) although the “remember me” box is checked. That alone is all the reason I need to shun it on favour of Steam. ;-)

          It’s also run by a company that answers to shareholders, turns its multiplayer servers off probably sooner than anyone else, and uses or at least used Origin to spy on people’s PCs.

          I am using it if there’s no alternative, but I prefer Steam.

          Don’t care baout DRM either way, PC gaming as we know it would have been dead and buried years ago without it.

        • Premium User Badge

          Herring says:

          Steam isn’t necessarily DRM. I’ve got DRM-free games on Steam that I can play straight from the directory without Steam running (even offline). It depends on the publisher.

    • iainl says:

      No, just an abject lesson in expectation management. Rift announced its price after a couple of Devkit versions, each of which was about half of what they dropped the final one at. Vive was always talked about as more expensive than Rift because of the stuff it used to track you around the room and the fancy motion controllers, so ended up costing roughly what everyone expected after the Rift came in so high.

      If Vive had gone first, of course, I’m sure this would all be rather different. And since neither of them can play Rez Infinite, it’s kind of moot to me.

    • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

      I wouldn’t call the reactions interesting at all; predictable would be a better word to use.

      1) Occulus came up with a price point, and then sold it more expensive. people obviously going to build expectations from that and react based upon those expectations.

      2) Valve and HTC were pretty upfront about the Vive costing more, so see above re expectations.

      3) The Occulus announced their product first at a price point. Regardless of how correct or unfair it was or wasn’t, people are hardly going to be raising their hands to their mouths in shock when a hugely similar and competing product was announced at a similar price point.

      Honestly I think you’re looking for trolls when there aren’t any. People react to things; we’re human for God’s sake, and expecting every person to robotically and objectively process every piece of information they receive is expecting a hell of a lot.

    • Stevostin says:

      More simply: every comparison we had was Vive > Rift. So Rift was expected (also the huge funding from Facebook) to be the more mainstream product, which it failed to be. Vive OTOH always made clear it was the high end product. It’s pretty natural that silly high prices doesn’t damage it as much as OR. Different expectations.

  26. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    I think it is also true that if VR started at too low a price point, people wouldn’t take it seriously. We just don’t appreciate the things we don’t pay for.

    • Dinger says:

      A better way of putting it is: right now, this thing requires a $200 CPU and a $300 video card as a bare minimum, and will likely need much more to run nicely. There’s your budget. While it would be cool to have a toy that ran well with your average 3-year-old midrange gaming PC, that’s not where either Oculus or Valve are with the technology.
      So look at the specs of your hardware. Could your rig drive one of these? If not, what would the total cost be to get something that could?
      My bet is that several people have looked at those numbers and figured that, if, by some miracle of nature, they made a $300 “vomit special” headset, the number of sales might increase, but not as fast as the number of returns.

      Besides, yes, Generation 1. Expect huge bugs, please do have fun, and invite the rest of us over to play.
      For the rest of us, note that the nVidia Pascal GPU, due this fall, is sporting some features that are interesting for VR. Expect the same from AMD. CPU and Video prices will decrease, and with them, the price of these toys.

  27. rexx.sabotage says:

    That’s not a bad price point when you consider what people are willing to spend on fancy phones. Mind you, I am not one of those people, my phone still has buttons.

  28. celticdr says:

    Too rich for my blood, although I did guess as a ballpark $800 US so I’m not shocked, just disappointed that I’ll have to wait for the next gen VR to arrive (hopefully at a cheaper price).

    Intrigued to see what StarVR will release at, though I suspect it too will be around the $800 US mark… come on HMD makers – get your prices down!

  29. Stone_Crow says:

    Go go go early adopters. I salute you, but will buy a VR *if* it doesn’t fall flat on it’s face (again) in 2-3 years for a couple of hundred quid. I do however hope being at the forefront of something feels epic, as it should for that sort of money and that you have an absolute blast.

  30. Replikant says:

    Huh. I had feared the price would be much higher. Still, as much as I want to, I am not going to buy one anytime soon. My current GTX 460 would die in agony if I asked it to VR and I am waiting for next-gen graphic cards before I upgrade.

  31. Deano2099 says:

    The other significant thing in this vs Oculus for me is that for Oculus it’s the third generation of stuff they’re putting in consumer hands. Sure, the other two releases were ‘dev kits’ and not available via retail (but then, neither will these devices be for a while) but they had put hardware into people’s hands/faces.

    Vive may well be great but I do expect it to have a fair few more of your regular 1st gen niggles than Oculus will.

  32. Atomica says:

    It’s expensive, but it is a new piece of hardware in a field of few competitors. I’d expect the next version to be a decent bit cheaper once the market opens up.

    Anyway, the sum HTC are asking for is comparable to a top of the line video card, which you need anyway. If you can afford that without worrying too much, another £600 isn’t going to bother you.

    • fish99 says:

      Minimum card is a 970 which costs £250.

    • Hobbes says:

      A top of the line graphics card (in my case – my 980Ti) benefits me in a lot of ways gamewise.

      VR is unproven technology. I’m not going to spend MORE than the cost of a 980Ti on unproven technology. Sorry, no way, no how.

      I wish those out there the very best of luck with this, because this is going to be a genuine gamble, a very fun one, but a gamble nonetheless.

  33. clonitza says:

    Pascal first for me and when Robinson and Star Citizen go live I may consider VR. Only for Adr1ft the investment isn’t worth.

    ++I’m still considering Valkyre no more than a mobile app :P

  34. Premium User Badge

    Herring says:

    There’s a little SteamVR performance test app on Steam. You can install it here;

    steam://run/323910

    Just runs a little of the Aperture Labs demo in stereo mode and monitors your framerate, then gives you a benchmark on how good your VR experience will be.

    Pretty cool.

  35. Juppstein says:

    I am still on the fence so I have no investement in either of the two. But what sounded nice for the Vive was that apparently mobile phones are supposed to be able to use the Vive for stuff like calls and more. Which sounds like a cool thing, at least on paper. If that is only for HTC devices then it is a dead feature, naturally. Does someone know if the Rift is supposed to support the same features?

  36. CloneWarrior85 says:

    So, this is the “affordable vr” for everyone.

    You know, all this crap about the vr will end closely to the famous power glove. Waste of money and will die eventually.

  37. Premium User Badge

    zigguratvertigo says:

    We are perhaps five months from VR being a thing; a significant part of contemporary culture and commerce. But we are still scumming sites that know little for glimmers of detail. It isn’t being provided. There is no information coming from the major actors in the VR revolution. The usual ‘preorder’ avenues are being provided, naturally, for you to give them your money, but you are still effectively on your own. In another time this might have been an opportunity for free market competition to work its wonders. The consumer benefits when different manufacturers are selling him different things that satisfy the same need, provided he knows enough about how they all compare. But the messages I’m getting from VR are all very hostile to the consumer. Americans want to be oligarchs more than entrepreneurs in 2016, there can be little doubt about that.

  38. bp_968 says:

    You keep mentioning the “unknown” of tax and shipping. I’m assuming tax must work vastly different for you guys in the UK. It’s easy to figure out the cost of tax in the USA. Just multiply the product cost by the states tax rate. Between 0% in freedom loving places like Alaska to almost 13% in bastions of socialism like New York.