How to avoid Vive’s VR subscription price hike


For the five of you that own an HTC Vive, I’ve got some bad news for you. At the end of March, the price of HTC’s Viveport subscription service is going up. In the UK, £6.99/month will become £8.99/month on March 22nd, with a similar price increase taking place across all 60+ countries where Viveport’s available.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to avoid it if you’ve yet to sign up to it. All you need to do is become a subscriber before March 22nd and HTC have promised you’ll be able to keep the £6.99 sub price for at least the rest of 2018. The same rule applies to all current Viveport subscribers too.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Viveport, this is HTC’s global app store for its Vive VR goggles. You can still buy most Vive-supported games through Steam, of course, but Viveport is where you’ll find Vive-specific VR ‘experiences’ and other assorted non-gamey bits, like 360-degree videos, art experiences and travel guides to name just a few.

You don’t have to be a subscriber to use Viveport, but those that do get access to a better selection of games and apps – a premium tier, if you will – from which they can download five titles every month.

The March price hike isn’t simply about charging people more money for the same service, however, as HTC will also be throwing in extra exclusive discounts and promotions every month starting now (February 2018). The first such benefit will be a free title to anyone who subscribes this month. It’s not clear exactly what that title will be, but hey, I’m down with anything I don’t have to pay extra for.

The price rise will also allow developers to earn a bit more cash from each subscription download. An extra 22% to be precise, according to HTC, and that is a Good Thing.

If you’d rather not do a Good Thing, however, then you know what to do. Subscribe now and you won’t have to worry about doing any Good Things until the beginning of 2019. You monsters.


  1. Korrow says:

    I’m not the most up to date on what’s going on in the VR world, but I was surprised to learn that Vive had something like this. I remember Occulus was catching flak for having VR exclusives, including from HTC themselves. Isn’t HTC doing the exact same thing with Viveport?

    • Sakkura says:

      Only difference is Viveport has very little meaningful exclusive content. HTC does not have the means to fund high-quality content the way Oculus/Facebook and Sony can.

    • emertonom says:

      Viveport has titles that are exclusive to their store, but you can use their store with any headset that supports the right standard (I think it’s currently SteamVR, but I think that in turn supports the OpenXR standard). Oculus’s store only supports the Rift (and Gear VR for some titles); you can get around that using Revive, a third party emulation layer, but that makes your access, if you’re not on their headset, kind of fragile in a way it wouldn’t be if they supported open standards. (E.g., if the developers behind Revive abandoned the project, you could lose access to stuff you’d bought from Oculus, and you’d not really have any recourse. That makes you think twice about paying significant prices for Oculus’s store exclusives.)

      It’s not the biggest difference in the world, but it’s a hassle that shouldn’t be there.

      • Sakkura says:

        OpenXR has not been finalized yet. It may be what Oculus are waiting for to officially support other hardware.

    • ThePuzzler says:

      I didn’t know this existed either, and I own a Vive.

  2. thranx says:

    It’s not bad news for anyone… No one uses the service. It’s garbage at either price.

  3. Sakkura says:

    “For the five of you that own an HTC Vive”

    More like “for the 0.75 of you that has a Vive AND uses Viveport.”

    Most just use Steam.

  4. Freker says:

    I’ve only really used this once. Steam VR (Beta) is far better for a front end launcher for the Vive and it’s games. HTC should realise that the Vive is synonymous with Steam now and come to some kind of deal.

    • Sakkura says:

      Valve and HTC already made a deal, that’s why the Vive is an HTC product rather than a Valve product (despite being based on Valve R&D).

    • hungrycookpot says:

      You can play all the games you have on viveport from within steamVR

  5. DoomBroom says:

    I used to have Viveport installed until I realized it was not required. Now I only use SteamVR.

  6. crazyd says:

    Maybe there’s only five people here that own a Vive cause your VR coverage has always been terrible and actively antagonistic to people that enjoy it? This sure doesn’t help. I’ve got no clue why the hell you guys even persist in barely ever giving any VR coverage. I’m sure there’s pretty much no one here that has a Vive AND wants your smarmy, terrible articles about it.

    Seriously, it’s pretty clear that just about everyone that writes for this site doesn’t give a shit about VR, so just stop covering it.

    • Lachlan1 says:

      Nah it’s because VR is bad. If the rift were ANYWHERE near the $300 ballpark that oculus said it would be, it might have had a chance. Now it just appears to be overpriced shovelware on a couple of very expensive headsets and a few cheaper ones.

      • aircool says:

        Yep, I think VR has failed to take off yet again. Maybe next time…

      • fish99 says:

        The Rift has been $349 a bunch of times now, including for the whole holiday season. And that was with 2 sensors, touch controllers and 6 games. I’m sure it’ll be back to that price pretty regularly (currently it’s $399).

      • Sakkura says:

        The ballpark quote was saying it would be in the ballpark of $350, but more.

        Nowadays you can get the headset PLUS controllers for $400, and that package has been on sale for $350. So they are well under the ballpark figure now.

        There are also Windows MR headsets that go for down near $200.

      • Juan Carlo says:

        Yeah, I got a Vive, totally regret it. The frustrating thing about current Gen VR is that there’s enough cool about it that you know in 5 years it’s going to be awesome. But until then, it’s cumbersome to use and move around in and the tech itself isn’t yet at a place where it’s impressive visually.

    • ColonelFlanders says:

      Because of course the entire success of a platform depends on the opinion of a single publication.

      • fish99 says:

        Well it doesn’t help. Funny thing is when the Rift/Vive launched RPS did some very positive articles about them, but since then they’ve collectively come across as very negative even though prices have dropped and there’s way more software now.

        • jrodman says:

          Is any of the software genuinely fascinating? Is anyone writing about it? I’m curious to read about this stuff, even though I’m not that interested in buying it.

          • Chaz says:

            There’s plenty of VR specific websites now.

            link to
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            Tested has a VR section where they review and test the hardware.

          • K_Sezegedin says:

            There’s a great deal of fascinating software, though I find things just through r/vive and steam browsing – road to vr has a lot of articles, maybe look there.

            Just the creative programs like tilt brush and blocks, semi educational fare like Google Earth and titans of space, art works like isaac cohen’s pieces, irrational exuberance and the blu, just plain fun games like sairento, vanishing realms, onward and pavlov and intriguing vr versions of flat screen games like Elite, DCS and Thumper justify the price of admission IMO,

            There’s a lot of simply amazing stuff for vr, never quite got the negativity.

          • DoomBroom says:

            Tested has some good coverage of VR and everything new and exiting happening in the era.

            Check out their Projections Episodes about VR and The VR minute in the “This is only a Test” every week :)
            link to

            Myself I’m looking forward to getting my Pimax8k in some months. Really looking forward to that immense field of view and the big bump in resolution. Though I’m also prepared to be disappointed as is the risks with kickstarter.

            Currently I’m playing Minecraft on my Samsung Odyssey and watching movies on it :)

          • jrodman says:

            The projections video seems far more like a game review than I was hoping for. I was imagining something like Sin Vega or the original RPS might write up.

  7. Vilos Cohaagen says:

    Honestly the more I’ve tried VR the less essential I’ve found it, and the more the limitations annoy me. I just don’t enjoy it as a peripheral, but I bare it no malice. I have friends who love their VR headsets.

    • DoomBroom says:

      Well it’s first gen, but for what it is it’s kind of amazing. And besides I think for those that did not enjoy this generation some factors may have limited their enjoyment of it. Setting aside some space for VR to freely move about and making it easy to fire up whenever you want to play certainly helps, as well as having friends to play with and a computer good enough to actually play the games comfortably.

  8. DodgyG33za says:

    VR is good when it is good. I had DK1 and DK2 and now the Vive with the new strap which makes it so easy to get on and off. I love Elite Dangerous using my Vive. And Superhot. Both games would be pretty average using flat screen.

    For the masses though, there needs to be a couple of more improvements. Wireless and higher res. And a simple added bit of functionality – a button on the headset that let you see through front facing cameras and hear through a mic for when you need to hear/see the world.

    The pro version of the Vive will address wireless and increase resolution, which will take us some way there.

    I have spent 25 years of my adult life waiting for this tech to come back since I first saw some Virtuality games at London’s Trocodero in the early 90’s. So I will be buying the Vive Pro, and then probably every successor. Luckily for me those 25 years have been spent working in IT, so budget is no longer a consideration.

    • spacejunkk says:

      You can use the Vive front-facing camera, works okay for avoiding cats etc. You need to enable it in SteamVR, then double press the small button below the touchpad while wearing the headset.

      Seems like it’s not on by default because they’ve had problems with USB bandwidth in some cases.

    • DoomBroom says:

      I think the extra camera on the Vive Pro plus the improved mic and headphones will help quite a bit with that. Also it will be interesting to see what comes of the Logitech VR keyboard that use a the Vive Camera and a Vive tracker to let you see the keyboard and your hands in VR. link to

  9. MaxMcG says:

    A crappy xbox live for VR? Never going to work on PC.