HTC announced that its upcoming virtual reality (VR) headset, the Vive, will cost $799 in the US; $200 more than the Oculus Rift headset.
The US price tag equates to about £560. However, it will likely cost more than that in the UK due to the fact that the US price doesn’t account for sales tax.
Consumers in the UK can expect to shell out approximately £700 for a Vive.
However, unlike the Rift, the Vive will come bundled with proper VR controllers. HTC said that the headset will come with two ‘Lighthouse’ sensors, two wireless controllers, a pair of ear buds, a link box, and free copies of Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption.
There is only a three-day gap between the launch of HTC’s Vive and the Oculus Rift. The Rift is set to launch on March 28, while the HTC Vive begins shipping on April 1.
Pre-orders for the Vive will start from Monday, February 29. However, it’s unclear whether this is exclusive to US consumers.
Consumers didn’t expect VR headsets to cost so much
When HTC rival Oculus announced the higher than expected price tag of the Rift there was some consumer backlash. Many people expressed frustration with the VR firm for underestimating the price of the product in the past. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey had previously said that the Rift would have a price tag of around $350.
In an AMA session with Luckey on Reddit a user asked: “My question is why was the messaging about price so poor? $599 is not in the ballpark of $350 when your target audience is the mainstream.”
Luckey responded by saying that he handled the messaging ‘poorly’.
With the HTC Vive costing $200 more than the Rift it looks like consumers will have to accept the high cost of buying first-gen VR hardware on the PC side.
Sony has not announced how much the PlayStation VR will cost; the third high-end headset set to hit the market this year. However, Sony has warned that it will cost around as much as a new console.