As much as you want to root for HTC, especially when it comes to its outstanding Vive VR headset, the company just seems intent on shooting itself in the foot. The HTC Vive price of $799 in the US is entirely reasonable, but the international pricing for the VR contraption is significantly higher. Euro-zone countries will have to cough up €899 for the headset, almost 25% more than their American counterparts, although this includes saes tax, but Europe gets off light compared to some countries.
HTC posted the international price list on its Vive blog, with China the least lucky, forking out the equivalent of $1,050 while Taiwan’s price equates to only $850. Japan is slightly better off than China, paying the equivalent of $990. Euro-zone countries will pay what converts to $980 and the United Kingdom will pay slightly less, rounding out to $955.
The lower US and Canadian prices don’t include sales tax, although it usually only adds around 10% to the price. The headset will be bundled with Fantastic Contraption, Job Simulator and Google’s Tilt Brush. The bundle is only available for a limited time, so act fast if you want to make sure you get these three titles at launch.
The problem with what will likely be seen as excessively high European and Asian pricing for the HTC Vive is that it may well hamper the device’s sales outside America. On top of the headset cost, customers will also need a high-end PC to run the whole thing, with most households unlikely to have the graphical processing power VR requires to run smoothly. Talking to HTC’s Shen Ye at MWC 2016 recently, I was told a machine could be built to the recommended spec for around $650.
What do you think of pricing discrepancies internationally? Do you think the HTC Vive will be as popular internationally?