Virtual Insanity: HTC Vive Will Cost £689/€899

When HTC announced a $799 US price tag (before sales tax) for the Vive, the virtual reality system they’ve been working on with Valve, we could only guess at how much that would convert to in real money. Well, with cybergoggle pre-orders opening later today, HTC have confirmed prices for the rest of the world. Oh my goodness a lot of money, is the answer. Folks in the UK will pay £689 and it’s €899 in Cthulhu emoticon money (both including tax), and… go check out the full list.

Pre-orders will open at 3pm UK time today – check this to see what it means in other time zones. If you’re up for this, I’d recommend registering an HTC account in case they’re needed and a rush of cybergoggle fanatics crush the servers. The hardware, which includes the headset along with two motion controllers and sensors to detect users moving around the room, will begin shipping on April 5th.

Don’t forget to run Steam’s VR performance tester too.

If you’d rather try before slapping down £689 (which, you know, I’d probably recommend), a few Vive games will be playable at the EGX Rezzed show in London in April. More importantly than that, we’ll be at Rezzed too (well, probably not me – but the Englanders).

HTC also announced yesterday that Google’s magical 3D painting tool Tilt Brush will be included in the pre-order bundle, along with Fantastic Contraption and Job Simulator.

It is still amazing how they made Jay Kay look kinda cool.

70 Comments

  1. drewski says:

    That is…not cheap.

    I wonder if VR will end up being one of those things where the price comes down over time, or if they just keep releasing newer and shinier and more expensive models.

    • Cinek says:

      There’s clearly a demand for something in £300-£400 range. I would expect next generation to perhaps split into two models: low and high end.

    • Faldrath says:

      I would guess that the first wave of buyers will mostly be flying/race sims enthusiasts, who already spend hundreds on specialized hardware (and also tend to be older, with more disposable income). After that, yeah, maybe the second generation will have a “budget” version that might make VR more popular, assuming performance isn’t too crippled.

      • BlackMageSK says:

        Pretty much, I spent more on a chair to sit my butt in and play maybe 2 different racing simulations on than the cost of this headset.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        You don’t need a “budget” version. Look how much 4k monitors sold for when they first came out. Now you can get superior screens for a couple of hundred quid. That’s how this stuff works, once they can refine their manufacturing process, price comes down and demand goes up. Some people just don’t seem to understand that this is how new tech works.

        • aleander says:

          This is how new tech *sometimes* works, and the only reason people think different is because nobody remembers failed technologies. Manufacturing costs don’t always have space to optimise, the demand only grows if the price or availability were the main reasons for lack of demand. Both of these are questionable right now.

          I mean, do I seriously need to remind you about Google Glass? The demand simply wasn’t there, price or not, so the tech was doomed.

          • Catchcart says:

            I take your point about not all tech going the way of smartphones but Glass is not really a fitting comparison. Early reports about Glass were that at best it was a href=”http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/08/05/o-k-glass”>weirdly compulsive. Early reports about the Vive say that it’s a quasi-religious experience. Users of Google Glass met with opprobrium in the social sphere. Users of VR will only have to contend with other house inhabitants (if any).

  2. Wyrm says:

    Hahahaha! no.

    • Wyrm says:

      It looks great, but I can’t see it selling enough units at that price to entice developers to produce for it. Once the initial buzz wears off, people dismiss it as a fad and it dies. I hope I am wrong, because it’s great.. but meh.

      • Cinek says:

        Developers already produce games for it. There’s no need to entice anyone.

        • eightohnine says:

          Every system has early adopting devs, sure. Be the best, be the cheapest or be the first. But Wyrm is talking about enough devs throwing in their weight to create a big and diverse enough catalogue to warrant the investment in a VR system. The selection of games makes or breaks a gaming platform and with VR it won’t be any different.

          • Cinek says:

            For me – there’s already enough games to justify buying VR. The fact that most of the notable game engines support VR out of the box only reassures me about the future.

            That ship has already sailed. Meanwhile you still wonder if it even exists.

          • eightohnine says:

            (Here we are again, me having to reply to my own comment. RPS, redo your commenting system!)

            It was never my point to argue what’s got for you. Your initial comment appeared to be somewhat naïve, so I stepped in to clarify. That’s all. ;)

          • fish99 says:

            For me there’s nowhere near enough games.

          • Cinek says:

            There always will be people for who there’s just not enough. Heck – I still see people saying that there isn’t enough games on PS4 to justify buying it.

  3. Cinek says:

    Still no official, full specs?

  4. Flit says:

    I’m only here to post a working link of Virtual Insanity for us poor Americans:

    . Oh, and some behind-the-scenes too: link to youtube.com

  5. Premium User Badge

    Tkrens says:

    Google says $799 converts to €740. So what’s with the €899 price tag in Europe?

    • keefybabe says:

      Apparently it’s flown over here on the wings of angels.

    • keefybabe says:

      Although being fair it would be because American stuff tends to list the pre-tax price and we list the post-tax price.

    • Premium User Badge

      Barvahal says:

      €740 + 20%-25% VAT (varies by country) = €888-€925.

      • Ethaor says:

        899€ is the price is before applying tax and handling. It’s written at the bottom of the page.

        • froz says:

          That note about sales tax is only for US and Canada (see the asterix). I don’t know about Canada, but for US prices seem to never include sales tax, while in Europe they always do.

          • Ethaor says:

            you’re right!

          • OscarWilde1854 says:

            Can confirm -> In Canada our prices don’t include sales tax… I wish they did. That’s brilliant that they do in Europe! Sadly, it’s all about sales over here and a price of !!!$799!!!! ‘sounds’ better than $902.87… people just ignore the tax until they hit the register most of the time.

          • lylebot says:

            Sales tax isn’t included in US price lists because it’s different everywhere. Each state has their own state sales tax, and then different cities/counties in a state can have additional sales taxes. There’s no national sales tax.

    • Cinek says:

      Jeez, it’s the same thing all over again… when people will finally learn not to convert currencies with google and expect it to be the final price?

    • Arithon says:

      You take the US price, convert to local currency with the worst exchange rate you can find, add top-price courier shipping cost and then wack VAT on top. See? Easy!

    • Radthor Dax says:

      As a customer in Ireland, this was on my invoice:

      Sub-Total: € 730.89
      Shipping: € 61.00
      Tax: € 182.14
      Total: € 974.03

      Seems about right, no?

  6. keefybabe says:

    Does anyone know yet whether games developed for the Vive will work with the Oculus and vice versa?

    If not, it could be a “sit back and wait for the victor to emerge” job.

    • Cinek says:

      You have to handle support for each VR separately, so the answer would be that by default you should assume they won’t. But major the engines support both, so I would expect a lot, if not most of the games running on both.

    • Tinus says:

      This is getting easier, and I’d guess most game makers will try to achieve this. I’m currently in the process of porting Volo Airsport from Rift-only code to also support the Vive. The device’s capabilities are very similar.

      Valve are doing a good job with their OpenVR initiative, which means you write code for their API once, and it’ll work with both the Rift, the Vive, and future VR kits. Unity is working on standardizing this along the same lines.

      • keefybabe says:

        Nice, so it could end up more like ATI and Nvidia than HDDVD and BluRay then.

  7. Plank says:

    The big question is, are the games available at launch worth spending £700 on? And the answer is no.

  8. stoner says:

    £689? €899?
    But, what is the cost in REAL money? You know…American dollars.

    • Asurmen says:

      Literally the first line of the post.

    • OscarWilde1854 says:

      Really… that’s impressive. You literally didn’t read 5 words beyond the title before commenting… brilliant.

    • minijedimaster says:

      Damn stoners giving american’s a bad name. Dumb ass… go back to your bong.

      • Butts says:

        Any real stoner commenting on a PC gaming website would keep their bong at the computer with them. OBVIOUSLY.

  9. Unsheep says:

    Add another £100 for the rest of Europe I reckon.

    The obvious fact is you don’t actually ‘need’ to buy VR in order to play your games, its a luxury peripheral.

    As long as media can restrain themselves from hyping VR up to the extreme, gamers won’t be wasting their money.

    • Premium User Badge

      Herring says:

      It’s the early days of a revolution. Hopefully.

      My first 3DFX card was expensive and optional when I first got it and look at how fast the ‘optional’ bit dropped away (and the prices came down too just as quickly TBF).

    • Cinek says:

      Wasting money? Wow, way to be a dick.

      • OscarWilde1854 says:

        Man, you really love your VR, don’t you? He’s not wrong. For the average consumer, this is an absurd price for a luxury bit of hardware that (at present) really doesn’t add anything spectacular to your catalog.

        I won’t say the tech is useless… but look at something like the iPhone 1… 600$ in 2007 8GB, and a minimal app catalog.
        Now, 9 years later the iPhone 6s + is ~$769 for 16GB and a ridiculous catalog of apps.

        It needs it’s early supporters to get to the later stages, but the reality is, the iPhone was NOT worth 600$ when it first came out (arguably, it really isn’t worth $769 now…) when you look at the cost/ features ratio.

        And neither are these early VR models… one day (maybe), but not this day.

        • Cinek says:

          really doesn’t add anything spectacular to your catalog.” – and there we disagree.

  10. melnificent says:

    Will it support the abandoned rift games? The ones that needed extended desktop mode to work. That’s a decent back catalog of games straight away.
    Will the SDK break between versions like rift, or will it be inclusive of older versions?

    • grimdanfango says:

      The Rift SDK doesn’t break between versions… the Rift *development* SDK sometimes broke between versions… because they were, y’know, developing it!

      And no, nothing will support games that never updated beyond early tests using extended mode, as that has never been intended to be a supported mode for end consumers. Even the Rift already dropped support for it entirely.

  11. Ethaor says:

    £689 in UK and €899 in Europe, although we can read at the end of the page: *Sales tax not included in MSRP

    • Asurmen says:

      Yes, which only includes USA and Canada in that statement. All the other countries have sales tax in their price.

  12. celticdr says:

    Over $1200 AUD – quite in the realms of the imagination – same as with the Rift… seems like the only people playing VR for now will be Americans… America f*&k yeah!?

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      $1150 Canadian. I think you might be right.

      If Trump gets in at least they’ll have a fantasy world they can hide in.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      Why? The cost is adjusted for tax pretty well, and although Americans have a lower cost of living, they also earn less (have you seen their minimum wages? And that could be in an at-will employment state no less! Oh and you just got ill? Hope you enjoy bankruptcy!).

      Don’t get me wrong, I feel for you Aussies, the video game gods do not look kindly upon you – but American’s don’t really have a leg-up in this case.

      • minijedimaster says:

        What in the seven hells are you babbling about? Maybe you should refrain from talking about how life is in the USA considering you just proved you have no clue.

        • lylebot says:

          Uh.. are you saying it’s not possible for an American to be making $7.25 an hour, well below the standard of living, and have terrible health insurance and suddenly get sick and get fired because of it and have no way to pay medical bills? Because if you are, you’re really not paying attention…

  13. Morte66 says:

    I once spent ~170 quid on a video card so I could play STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl.

    They will need some seriously good content to make me buy one of these.

    The most interesting use I can think of for VR headsets is to watch video and read plain text ebooks. With a headset, of the right design, you could do that lying on your back on a bed/sofa. Not so easy with a 24 inch monitor…

    • Spuzzell says:

      ebooks.

    • Spakkenkhrist says:

      Money well spent.

    • flibbidy says:

      Currently the resolution is way too low for reading anything substantial comfortably, just to be clear.

    • Arioch_RN says:

      Hmmm, just trying to imagine the frisson of gaming with a ceiling mounted “Sword of Damocles” 40 inch display…

    • ButteringSundays says:

      Simulation.

      Outside of novelty that’s its only real use now, and likely for the foreseeable. Unless they become as standard-issue as a television (i.e. if Netflix etc. get involved) it’ll likely always be a niche product – like multi-monitor panoramic setups and racing seats.

      So yea, that’s the real (and very tempting) use for VR, sims. Honestly I can’t wait to give it a go, but it’s way out of my budget for now. If it ended up replacing my TV though? Then it becomes more tempting (and socially suicidal).

  14. Rumpelstiltskin says:

    And don’t forget that true VR fans and early adopters will have to buy the Rift as well.

  15. cablechip says:

    I’m mostly curious how much shipping is going to add on top of that

  16. Quark999 says:

    “Estimated Shipping with Tax: £57.60”

    Geez. Nah, I’ll wait – I was tempted, but I hate those little surprises that Oculus and HTC are springing on us price-wise.

    • Cederic says:

      Yeah, that’s a stupidly high shipping charge – especially when you consider that covers 7-8 months of Amazon Prime, which includes free shipping on a metric fuckload of shit I buy from Amazon plus other features.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        It’s not ‘free’ if you’re paying for it.

        You can buy a pair of jeans from Topshop (based in the UK) from the US and get free delivery AND returns, on like, a £40 item.

        Besides there’s no good reason for them not to have a European distributor, and frankly I wouldn’t buy one without it. What if something needs RMA’ing? Better take out a loan.

        So don’t tell me they have to charge 60 bloody quid to ship a parcel from the US. That’s point-of-sale price gouging if I’ve ever seen it, on a premium product that frankly shouldn’t even be charging *any* postage fees.

  17. shocked says:

    I’m gonna wait for that cheap chinese thingy with ok quality in 2019.

  18. MadMinstrel says:

    Ok then. High pricepoint = no adoption. No adoption = no content. VR, we hardly knew ye. R.I.P.