HTC Vive cybergoggles get £160/$200 pricecut

HTC and Valve’s Vive cybergoggles today received a permanent price cut, taking the virtual reality headset from £759/$799 to £599/$599. Unlike the current £399 Rift sale, this is a permanent change. And it comes just in time for Rez Infinite, which our Alec has declared to be “the greatest VR game to date.” I myself am holding out for goggs with spring-loaded steel spikes over the temples so when I die in the game, I die in real life (which I understand to be a fundamental part of VR) but if you’ve simply been waiting for a lower price, voila.

“With Vive’s ever-growing VR Ecosystem and the holiday season right around the corner, we believe now is the right time to make Vive even more accessible to those excited about entering the world of high-end VR,” HTC said in today’s announcement.

And yup, the price cut is less dramatic in the UK. First they get us with Brexit, now this. Still, it might be worth it: perhaps someone will make a VR Parliament and we’ll be able to spend four years hugging our knees and as we’re lulled to sleep by Big Ben’s cyberbongs. Little bit of politics for you there, ladies and gentlemen.

Finger-sensing controllers, codenamed ‘Knuckles’, are coming for the Vive at some point so this package won’t last you forever and ever and ever (unlike other PC hardware, which is obvs for life) but it will get you on the virtual ladder.

We’re in the dying days of an Oculus sale bringing their own Rift goggs down to £399 (with motion controllers included). Are either of these prices low enough to get you gogged up, chums?

56 Comments

  1. Donkeyfumbler says:

    Low enough for me (the Rift that is) – £600 is still too much.

    • Vandelay says:

      Worth bearing in mind that you need to spend more on the Rift to get it up to being the same as the Vive. If you are after the room tracking, you will be needing at least 2 sensors and I understand you really need 3. Those are £60 each, so bringing the total up to £580, pretty much the same price as the Vive (that extra £20 is worth not giving any more money to Facebook and Oculus’s attempts to make exclusives.)

      I’m not sure, having only used the Vive, but I have heard that image quality and comfort are slightly better with the Oculus though. The screen door effect is certainly quite noticeable for me, but it does fade away once you are engrossed and as long as there aren’t too many distant objects.

      • PaceCol says:

        The current £399 rift set comes with two included sensors.
        Which seem to work perfectly well.

        • Vandelay says:

          Oh really? I double checked the website and it didn’t seem to (didn’t look too close, so may have missed it.) That really is a cracking deal if it does.

        • BlueTemplar says:

          Yeah, and if you were fast enough (a few days on oculus.com, more than a week on Amazon) you also got a wireless Xbox controller, its wireless USB connectors, and an Oculus remote to boot !

          • Maxheadroom says:

            I was lucky enough to get one of those packs, and just ordered the additional 3rd sensor today.
            The 2 included sensors work fine in most games but a couple of times in Lone Echo (which is amazing btw) you can lose hand tracking if you end up facing away from the cameras.

            side note, I went from ‘mildly curious’ to total VR fan boy after trying it on for the first time. youtube videos just cant convey the sense of scale and depth you feel when you put it on.

        • BlueTemplar says:

          I wouldn’t say “perfectly well”, as when you turn around, the 2 sensors sometimes lose track of your controllers (as they get blocked by your body)… and I suppose that in theory for a really big playspace the extra sensor range would be better, but then it still works very well, and I suppose that for most people, like for me, setting up a third sensor opposite your computer would be fairly annoying. (But for those that can, there’s an alternative experimental “diagonal” 2-sensors setup that should solve the blind spot issue.)

          • Sakkura says:

            I used 2 sensors in a diagonal setup for a month or so. It was quite good, but adding a 3rd sensor does prevent a hitch here and there.

          • ResonanceCascade says:

            Yeah, roomscale is excellent with 3, just ok with 2. I’d strongly recommend 3 for larger playspaces.

      • Sakkura says:

        You need to spend $100 (£100?) on the audio head strap for the Vive to get that up to par with the Rift. Plus the Rift comes with more/better bundled content.

    • Herring says:

      So once the Rift goes back up to 500 quid, they’ll be “roughly” comparable again; Rift + Extra sensor is within spitting distance of the Vive. Depends on how mandatory you consider the Deluxe strap is on the Vive though (which would bump the cost up again).

      • Chaz says:

        I only have a moderate sized space by the Rift software’s standard and I found that a 3rd sensor was preferable. 2 sensors in a diagonal was quite good but 2 front facing with a 3rd at the back to cover blind spots is more or less flawless.

        A mate of mine has the deluxe audio strap for his Vive and he was telling me today that it is very good indeed and improved upon Oculus’s design, which you know, if they didn’t it’d have been very disappointing. Will be interesting to see what the new Vive controllers bring to the table and how they improve upon the Touch controllers.

        He came round today to try out some of the Oculus games like Edge of Nowhere, Robo Recall, Lone Echo and Wilson’s Heart. He was definitely impressed with the quality of them compared to the usual indy stuff on Steam. You can see where the money has been spent. I know people moan about paid exclusives, but in order to get good quality games on VR right now, I think it’s more or less a necessity. What I think they could do though, even if they don’t want to allow the games on Steam, is open up the Oculus store properly to other devices. Compatibility of the games would still have to be down to the dev or publisher of course, as it is on Steam.

  2. dangermouse76 says:

    I have not seen a compelling gaming experience that justifies the spend.
    I have not had the opportunity to try VR at all, no one has it and I don’t have access to a demo set up.
    I have no idea myself what will make great VR gaming.

    It’s a no sell all round for me at the moment.

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      Agreed. Not much other than some admittedly impressive tech demos. Sure, Truck Simulator and Elite but neither are really for me.

      I’ll take the plunge when stuff like Skyrim or Witcher at a decent resolution is possible.

      • dangermouse76 says:

        Google Earth in VR looked interesting as well. But it’s still early days for VR. It may die out in this form before it can gain enough traction to go mainstream.
        Or remain niche servicing a dedicated smaller audience instead.
        I’m no expert myself, but AR looks pretty cool as well. If they could make good on the Minecraft simulation Microsoft showed.

        • Vandelay says:

          Google Earth is disappointing, to be honest. It uses satellite images and not Google’s street view, so on the ground looks awful (Street view would have been flat, I suppose, so may not have been much better.)

          There are some good games in VR, as well as some amazing experimental stuff (Dear Angelica, for example, is a great short film and I just watched a really great U2 – yes, U2! – video that was really smart use of the tech.)

          I am pretty certain VR is the future of entertainment, not just gaming, and there is plenty about at the moment to enjoy, but you are buying it to support it more than replacing what you have at the moment.

          • BlueTemplar says:

            Yeah, I was very disappointed by Google Earth – I was expecting too to be able to use Street View, which would have turned it into a go-to app when I would have had to go some new unknown place in the real world (even if it would just have looked like a photosphere and not real 3D).

            Still a great program though, hopefully it will become more practical with time than mostly just a way of looking at landscapes… which something like The Lab’s Postcards do IMHO much better regardless of the lack of locomotion options.

            Oh and Mars, Moon and Sky would be great to have here too.

    • Sakkura says:

      Lone Echo, Echo Arena, Robo Recall, Superhot VR, The Climb, Thumper, and so on. There are quite a few quality titles by now. But I can definitely understand wanting to demo it first. There’s really no way to convey what VR is like, you have to see it for yourself (as Morpheus would say).

      • aepervius says:

        A few quality title does not mean there are compelling title. Especially for those of us which are rpg fans, then there is zero compelling title.

        • Sakkura says:

          The Mage’s Tale.

          My list above was not exhaustive, you know.

        • Vandelay says:

          I was actually thinking about this the other day, albeit more generally about games with depth rather than specifically RPGs and their implementation in VR. I don’t see it particularly working.

          Many of those games have considered depth through their abstractions. For example, many consider a deep RPG is created by having stats. You develop character(s) by creating a balance between these stats that maximises the area’s you wish to focus on. Want to be a thief? Focus on increasing your lockpicking skill. Want to soak up all the damage? Plunge points into strength that lets you wear superior armour. All very standard tropes.

          Other games with “depth” put the numbers into other areas. Probabilities are adjusted when your troops enter cover, that gun has slightly less accuracy than that one.

          In VR, many of these abstractions are less necessary. The player is making the actual actions, so you don’t need to mask them behind numbers. If I point my gun at a target and fire, the disconnect that would be created if the bullet hits 3 foot away because my stats are not good enough for pistols will be far greater than it is with JC Denton doing it. Those abstractions, which often have a benefit in a game you are controlling with a mouse, work to the detriment of a VR game.

          If you are asking for an RPG meaning a game where you play a role within a story then there is no reason why VR couldn’t do it and succeed at it far greater than any flat screen game. The sense of place and immersion really is phenomenal. To create something that offers the complexity many would be looking for would be difficult though, just because of the investment required.

          It is always going to be a slow process though. People aren’t going to buy into the tech until the software is there and the software isn’t going to be there until the people are. I just hope developers stick with producing what they can whilst the returns are not great, as it will just die without the content being made (and it is being made now! For those interested there is plenty to keep you entertained.)

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      MajorLag says:

      I had the opportunity to try out a Vive a while back, and it’s actually pretty neat. The effect worked fairly well and the tech-demo games Space Pirate Trainer and Valve’s little bow and arrow game convinced me it can work and provide a different enough experience… but I still don’t see it being worth the current cost. Even with this price reduction, since you still have to take into account getting your PC up to a certain spec just for entry.

      I think it’ll get there eventually though. Someone will be the first to create something completely different, completely undo-able and un-replicatable outside of VR, a compelling experience that will sell the whole platform. I just don’t see it today.

    • BlueTemplar says:

      “I have not seen a compelling gaming experience that justifies the spend.”
      That might be because…
      “I have not had the opportunity to try VR at all”
      Don’t you think?

      You sound a bit like someone saying :
      “I haven’t seen a compelling reason that justifies the spend on this newfangled tele-vision technology.
      Of course I haven’t actually seen one in real, I’m going by what they tell about it on the radio and in the journals.”

      • dangermouse76 says:

        Of course that may be a reason. I wrote it right there for you to read. Tell me something I don’t know.

        • BlueTemplar says:

          The only thing I have to say is that you have to try it for yourself – and obviously try to try the best games available.
          But as you say you already knew that…

        • dangermouse76 says:

          Edit: you know what forget it. Have a nice day.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      I fully get where you’re coming from. My mindset was it looks like an interesting concept but all the games ive seen (with a few notable exceptions like Elite) were simple and wouldn’t holdup if you played then on a standard monitor with a mouse and keyboard.

      I got drawn in by the sale though and decided to take a punt and all I can say is im glad I did. I actually exclaimed “holy shit!” to an empty room when I first put it on. its utterly immersive in a way endless youtube videos or strangers on the internet with trite analogies just cant convey. If you ever ‘do’ get the opportunity to try it, I highly suggest you do

    • funderbolt says:

      “I have not seen a compelling gaming experience that justifies the spend.”

      And

      “I have not had the opportunity to try VR at all”

      Both of these sentences cannot be true.
      I understand the innate British tendency on this site (and in general) to be pessimistic and just “over” everything, but this is extreme.

      It’s ok to like things. Doesn’t make you uncool, I promise.

      • dangermouse76 says:

        You have misunderstood what I wrote. I mean seen as in reviewed or video’s etc.As others have said you have to experience it to get it – although some have tried it and still don’t find it appealing.

        But the entry level is high and there are very limited ways to get access to a system to demo it.

        Hence it’s a no buy for me just now. Maybe trying it will change that, maybe it wont. I’m not righting off VR.

        It’s OK to not buy something because it’s expensive, and – on the surface – doesn’t seem to have any compelling games I would enjoy, and on top of that I cant get access to try it.

        Normal consumer concerns I feel.

        Also stereo typing me as innately pessimistic is a gross simplification and inaccurate.

  3. LearningToSmile says:

    What I want to know is why the Vive’s UK price is something like 10% cheaper than the general euro price. UK economy didn’t tank quite THAT badly yet, did it?

    Anyway, I would actually consider picking up a Vive at this price point, but what stops me more than the lack of VR content is that I don’t believe the claims that we will have to wait for the next generation of VR(or at least a mid-cycle refresh) all the way until 2019.

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    Don Reba says:

    I’ll wait at least until Camouflaj’s VR project releases.

  5. Uberwolfe says:

    I love my Rift.. but I am still waiting for the immersive AAA RPG experience. No, I don’t want Fallout4 in VR I want something like the Witcher 3…

    Something where I can stand in those beautiful dense forests and watch the wind whipping through the branches above me.. where I can stand on a bluff overlooking a distant city and then thread my way through the terrain to actually walk there.

    So far the best experience I have had in terms of immersion on my Rift is The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.

  6. racccoon says:

    Please Note:
    Make sure you got $1000’s in extra cash for your new optometrist appointments and your new look with permanent glass’s. lol

    • Uberwolfe says:

      What are you talking about?

      • Asurmen says:

        Racccoon pops up in every VR thread as a prophet of the doom of humanity and eyeballs that is VR.

        Just ignore them.

        • BlueTemplar says:

          Still, it might be interesting to know what kind of effect (negative or maybe even positive) the use of current VR technology might have (even on adults)…
          (As a fairly early adopter, I’m expecting anyway to be part “guinea pig”.)

  7. CloneWarrior85 says:

    Still completelly overpriced, lower the price to 250-300 bucks and it’s actually worth it.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    perhaps someone will make a VR Parliament and we’ll be able to spend four years hugging our knees and as we’re lulled to sleep by Big Ben’s cyberbongs

    Ohhh. I know the perfect name for it! They could call it V for Vive!

  9. Zenicetus says:

    “Are either of these prices low enough to get you gogged up, chums?”

    Nope, not yet. I need another generation of hardware that brings higher resolution. I’m halfway interested in a few games that currently support VR, but my main application would be flight sims. I fly X-Plane, and it’s getting native VR support very soon. But it’s worthless, if I can’t read the cockpit flight instruments through the screen door.

    And yeah, I know I need CPU/GPU muscle behind the goggles to back up higher res at those frame rates, when it arrives. But I’ll pay for that. From what I’ve seen, it isn’t quite here yet for this application. When it is, I’ll jump.

    • DLFReporter says:

      Actually games that have native VR Support and allow positional tracking of your head work great with current gen VR headsets. The Screen Door Effect is virtually gone. I have a Rift and play X-Rebirth VR. All menus and instruments are perfectly readable and manageable. Check it out: link to youtube.com

      Or perhaps VTOL VR can tickle your fancy. :)

      • BlueTemplar says:

        That’s curious.
        In general (for the CV1 Rift, cannot comment about others, though I heard that Rift was the best in that aspect) the screen door effect is quite noticeable when I’m not doing much and try to see small details far away. Thankfully I quickly forget about it once there’s some action.
        Specifically about flight simulators (and the like), I’ve had (some) trouble reading (some of the) text in not VR-only games like Descent : Underground and Everspace.

        • DLFReporter says:

          Sure the SDE is still there a bit, but coming from the DK1/DK2 it is all but gone.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Games like the two you linked, have large text fonts and cockpit displays designed so they can be easily seen. VR handles that fairly well.

        The more realistic flight sims like FSX or X-Plane use smaller text fonts and higher-res information displays in the cockpit, because that’s what the real thing looks like. The VR tech has to adapt to the higher complexity and detail of these cockpits with higher resolution, and not the other way around.

    • Asurmen says:

      Depends as to whether they get next gen mimicking how the eye works (high res towards the centre). Should massively increase quality with little to (presumably) actual gain in FPS.

  10. Carcer says:

    I bought one during the steam summer sale on the assumption that was probably the best value I was going to get for it in the near future. This news is honestly infuriating.

  11. Dodgy says:

    Again nothing in €. I suppose there isn’t a discount for Europe.

    • BlueTemplar says:

      I suppose this is a sarcastic comment about RPS not providing prices in €, rather than one showing your inability to use a search engine?

      Anyway, the Vive went from 899 € to 699 €.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    Are there any rumours about when we’ll be able to expect a second generation of this kind of thing?

    • Simplex says:

      Nothing concrete, almost definite not this year, unless you count the LG HMD. Maybe next year but that’s pure speculation. Someone from oculus said in may that you should not expect next gen earlier than in two years time.

      • Maxheadroom says:

        I read from a couple of sources that it would be “at least a couple of years out”. So 2019 most likely if true. That and the current sale were my main reasons for picking one up now

  13. Unclepauly says:

    “I myself am holding out for goggs with spring-loaded steel spikes over the temples so when I die in the game, I die in real life”

    “Life IS a vidya game. When you die the restart button is effectively activated.” -Gandhi’s hair stylist

  14. Mr Bismarck says:

    I sold a pretend miniskirt yesterday on Steam for $285.

    I just need to do that again and then I can order some VR!

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    Alpha1Dash1 says:

    So I’d like to ask a question of all the VR elite/flight sim players here – how long can you play for in one sitting? Has the physical discomfort/migrane thing been fixed (was it ever even a thing for most ppl)?

    Sorry – I know that was 3 questions, but after the initial launch mega-coverage, I’ve not seen that point addressed and it was *the* thing that made me think – “ok, I’ll come back in a few years then”.