Report: HTC Vive price might be as high as $1,500

by: Kris CarlonJanuary 12, 2016
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HTC Vive hands on

It’s no surprise that the HTC Vive was always going to be expensive. In fact, HTC has been upfront about it being a high-end product with a high-end price tag since day one. So the news coming out of Taiwan today that the HTC Vive might be priced as high as $1,500 might not be such a shock to some.

Personally, I expected it to be even higher. But considering how upset everyone got when the Oculus Rift was revealed to cost $599, it’s safe to say there’s probably going to be a bit of brouhaha about the HTC Vive price too.

htc vive preSee also: HTC and Valve showcase new and improved Vive Pre VR headset at CES1

The good news in all of this is that there is literally a VR headset for every budget. On the low end of the spectrum, Google Cardboard can be built for free and Samsung’s Gear VR is under $100. The Oculus Rift jumps to $599 and Sony’s Playstation VR is rumored to have a price tag anywhere between $800-$1,200. Against this backdrop, a $1,500 HTC Vive is simply the most premium so far.

HTC-Vive-6

In all fairness, I’d have to say it’s also the best VR experience you’ll find. I haven’t had a chance to try the final version of the Rift yet, but if it’s anything like the countless non-final versions I’ve demoed, it simply doesn’t stack up to the immersive smoothness of the Vive.

Of course, at more than double the price of the Rift, the HTC Vive will need some very positive feedback when it launches in April, especially when the Rift ships a month earlier. But the Vive was always going to be a niche product. HTC didn’t set out to make a premium VR headset at a bargain basement price; it set out to make the best virtual reality experience available, and it wisely partnered with Steam VR for the win.

But there’s no saying this is the absolute final price for the HTC Vive either. The figure was reported by Focus Taiwan, based on estimates by “foreign brokerages”. Those estimates laid the cause of the higher price tag at the feet of the Vive’s spatial recognition and advanced wireless controllers.

samsung gear vr oculus connect aa (12 of 15)See also: Is Virtual Reality the Next Big Thing… Again?9

Considering the HTC Vive is pretty similar to the Oculus Rift specs-wise, at the outset it might be a hard sell for HTC to justify a price tag that’s two and a half times higher. Once both devices are on the market and consumer feedback floods the market, we’ll soon see if that higher price is justified.

What VR have you tried? What do you think is a reasonable price for the HTC Vive?

  • bullshit

    where is your source? what kind of journalism is this?

    • Luka Mlinar

      At the bottom of the article, where it’s always been :P

  • Luka Mlinar

    That’s on top of a $1000+ PC right? And here I thought a game controller that you can’t even charge for 60 Euro was expensive. I guess I’m not posh enough these days to hang with Gabe :P

  • bOgGaRt

    Title says HTC Vice instead of Vive!

  • polysix

    No way is this right. The HMD (headset part itself) would cost the same or less than rift HMD (depending on materials), the lighthouse system is actually VERY cheap to make (Valve said this) and should cost less than even 1 camera/hmd sensors on the rift (or at least in the same… ‘ballpark’ – yeah I said it), that leaves the ONLY true piece that should deservedly cost more, the two motion/VR controllers which of course can’t be ‘free’ to make, but there is no way they cost that much. You could say maybe $100 each at most, so $200 and $200 for tracking + $300 for the HMD = $700.

    This $1500 figures has been pulled out of someone’s a$$ and has no merit behind it, and if people understood the tech involved they would call this the BS it clearly is without creating nonsense articles about it. Also factor in Vive won’t be bundling in a stupid xbox gamepad (more cost saving even if oculus claim it’s almost free to bundle it) and you should end up with a product that is, fairly, priced around $200-$300 more than the rift at most, however there’s nothing to stop them coming it at the same price even with the controllers bundled as the rift is clearly already expensive (and regardless of Palmer’s claims it clearly has some kind of ‘mark up’ – the screens inside should cost no more than $100 – Alan Yates (Valve) said this on twitter after the rift price was revealed, and that’s the most expensive part of the rift, followed by optics)

    And besides, even if it is $1500 (and rift $600) both would be in a bracket where they are made as halo products and we simply wait another year for V2 of both of them, more refined and better prices. It’s not like we have to buy either if they are too expensive at first.

    As someone who has used/developed/played on a DK2 for a while (with gamepad), I can say VR is definitely great BUT without proper input it’s not even half as good as it can be. This is why Vive deserves support for bundling proper input from the start, Oculus have created a fractured input market which will backfire on them, or on VR for the next couple of years. Bad move oculus, great move HTC/Valve. At least with Vive the cost is all upfront. People are (foolishly) buying the rift at $600 without having a clue how much touch will cost yet (and it IS essential to good VR in the long run) so the total price could end up more than vive (inc shipping again + taxes). Wise people will hold on, wait and see, wait for reviews of both.

    It has also been said in a couple of places that the FOV – Field of view – is a bit better on the Vive (Vertically and horizontally), which along with BETTER tracking (yes much better even if just seated) and actual VR controls makes the “VR experience” far far more immersive. It’s not just about the quality of the screen(s). Any journo or player that’s spent time with both pretty much only wants to own the Vive now, regardless of any shortcomings, because the who system is just far better and feels like VR should feel. The new camera chaperone system is a godsend, take it from someone who’s spent hours in DK2 and hated feeling cut off from simple tasks or having to remove it just to find/grab something or feel around like a blind man – do not underestimate how Vive’s chaperone will make using VR way more fun and comfortable in the long run, yes even if you just stay seated!

    There is no need to rush into VR, it’s great but you do NOT need it so fast if you’ve not tried it before, don’t blow your cash just to get a VR fix then regret that you didn’t wait to buy the better system (Vive with control!) or wait for the market to settle and prices to be more fair. I understand the excitement (Hey I bought a DK2 after-all knowing it was far from a finished/polished product) and you really do have to USE VR to fully get/feel it, but waiting another year won’t hurt anyone, esp if there’s more games/better software to actually use next year.

    At super high prices it pays to wait, VR is going to stay so you can be patient.

  • Nibbler

    Ain’t no way any regular joe going to buy one at 1,500 for his gaming pc. Thats like 4 car payments.

    • polysix

      It won’t be $1500. That is a ridiculous figure that someone has made up, the tech involved simply doesn’t cost that much. It’s not voodoo magic, it’s all very clear very available tech.

      • Malkmus

        Sony’s HMD’s of the last three years have sold for close to a grand and lacked motion controls, head tracking, positional tracking and had much lower resolution.

        • Tjaldid

          But they were made for a limited market so they raised their profit margin to pay off R&D

        • Yuma55

          PSVR is build from various hand me down components Sony has lying around. Screen comes from the Xperia phone line, interpolation chip fom the Bravia TV shelf etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if they bring the thing to market for $399.

          • Malkmus

            That’s the price I expect too. My point about the HMZ line from Sony is that HMD’s in the thousand dollar range are not fantasy.

        • polysix

          Times have changed mate.

          • Malkmus

            In a year? Not that much. The HMZ-T3 sold for a grand. The point being that what you think is a ridiculous figure is not far off from lesser capable devices.

          • polysix

            I wasn’t talking about tech, times have changed on what is acceptable. Sony’s previous “HMDs” weren’t really VR HMDs, they were cool toys for the rich – halo products. Times have changed. Vive won’t cost over $1000. HMDs have been around for years and they were ALL really expensive and really really crap, inc all of Sony’s past ones. If oculus did one thing right it was bringing enough attention to VR and just at the right time of good cheap screens to get enough people on board to create *competition*.

            As I said, times have changed. Compare apples to apples, anything before the rift is an orange in a different landscape.

  • Alex Thomas

    Clickbait/10

    • Tom Old

      Alex knows what’s up

  • rock1m1

    This is some horrible analytical skills from whoever the person got this.

  • WhoaManWtF

    The “free” cardboard requires a decent phone lets say 200-300+ to work and the 100 dollar Gear VR requires a 600-1100 dollar phone to run so if you want just VR and do not have a Samsung phone then the Oculus is still a great deal.

    • Otto Andersson

      The computer stats to run occulus is more expensive than any phone. I would argue most people (save for gamers) have something powerful enough. Also, phones are subsidized and easier to obtain.

  • Bezki

    Actually new reports suggested that vive will be price somewhere around $1799.00 and PSVR $1100-$1500

    Source; thin air

  • tineras

    “Sony’s Playstation VR is rumored to have a price tag anywhere between $800-$1,200”

    What are you talking about? This is absolute nonsense and may be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. Did you pull these numbers out of your butt?

    • Tjaldid

      Well from there or Fox

      • Otto Andersson

        A Fox news slam? Is it 2004?

        • Tjaldid

          No 2016 sadly and still relevant

          • Otto Andersson

            I hope you extend that same opinion to the equally or more corrupt MSNBC and CNN and Huffington Post

          • Idiot Detector

            We have an idiot over here.

          • Otto Andersson

            Attack my character because facts are scary.

      • sirlance

        Please don’t go politcal…the left wing news agency is an absolute joke….and thier ratings prove it…I’m not a fan of any news outlet…but I damn sure not a stupid liberal

    • Titan

      76% of all information on the internet is made up.

    • Yeah, that’s just pure bullshit. The only “rumor” so far’s been a stupid Amazon placeholder that’s been taken down as fast as it went up, with Sony going on record saying it was wrong.

  • Ryuto Arisato

    Who are they trying to sell anyway?

  • asdfggg

    I wipe my butt and lick it. Vive not $1500. Probably sub-$1000. I’m predicting $899.

    PSVR probably less than the Rift. It uses lower tech and offers a lower experience than either the Rift or the Vive, though it’s still good. I’d say $499.

  • OkinKun

    From what I’ve been hearing, the final Oculus Rift is every bit as good, if not slightly better in some ways, than the current HTC Vive prototype.
    The Rift can do room-scale VR basically just like the Vive can, so I’m not gonna spend double for a Vive. If that’s even an real potential price-tag this article claims.
    The Rift is being sold at cost, and is the highest quality HMD possible, for the best price.

    • polysix

      Vive is said to have slightly better FOV, and bear in mind it’s STILL a devkit vs the final consumer rift. HTC could do anything before the final version, they, unlike oculus, have massive manufacturing capacity and ability to change spec at speed. Oculus have to wait inline for other factories to build their stuff.

      Regardless of that, as a DK2 owner, the most annoying/letdown in VR wasn’t FOV/Res it was lack of proper VR input, something Vive gets right from the start and that may as well not even exist for the rift as it’s so delayed!

      Lastly, room tracking and standing/walking in VR is AMAZING. I did it in the DK2 in a very VERY limited area (3×3 feet due to bad tracking area of the DK2 camera) and it immediately elevated the game I was playing (Alien isolation) to “jaw drop” status. That was just on a DK2, factor in class leading tracking on Vive, PROPER and vital VR input and effortless room scale tracking – be it 2×2 or 15×15 feet and you have a recipe for amazing VR. Rift? Not so much sadly, and I was a big oculus fan since the start but they’ve u-turned on all their promises and their vision for VR and I’m not JUST talking about price (or even the price).

      • OkinKun

        Actually, on FOV, neither has a clear advantage.. Some people think the Vive is bigger, others say the Rift is. This is because they have entirely different screenspace-shapes. The Rift is boxy-ish, while the Vive’s is more a circular area.. And If I remember right, the Rift might have a slightly wider horizontal FOV, while the Vive has a taller vertical FOV. So they end up being roughly the same. Certainly nothing to hold against each other in competition.
        Also, Oculus has proven themselves perfectly capable in the area of hardware manufacturing. They’ve produced 2 publicly available dev kits, and now a consumer model.. And they partnered with companies like Samsung, in order to get the best parts, like screens. They’ve also built up a huge stock of units for launch, and they’ve been coming off the assembly line since the start of the Fall.

        The motion controls may be important to VR enthusiasts like you and me, and they’ll certainly become more important in VR’s future.. But right now, the average consumer/gamer that might be considering getting into VR soon, probably doesn’t need/care to dive straight into the deep-end of VR, with room-scale motion controls.
        Why make everyone pay for expensive high-end motion controls at launch, when the VAST majority of content that has and is being made for VR, still uses traditional controllers? That would be a big chunk of the price tag that people wouldn’t get much use out of for a while still.
        This is why it’s not a bad thing that Oculus is holding Touch back half a year. They could be holding it back to make some improvements to the hardware, but mostly they’re holding it back, because there isn’t enough content/games for Touch/room-scale setups yet. So there’s just no reason to make people buy them as part of the initial package, especially when a good chunk of VR gamers just want the HMD for cockpit/simulator/driving games. Oculus is actually giving us more choice in our VR setups, in this way.

        Yes, I agree that room-scale VR can be very amazing, I’ve tried simulating it a few times with my DK2, myself.. But I don’t think it’s quite ready for prime-time consumers yet, even in the Vive’s form.. And my point is that the Oculus Rift consumer model does provide *some* room-scale capabilities, much more so than the DK2 did.. But it doesn’t try and make room-scale into the current standard.. Room-scale VR isn’t quite ready for that yet, IMO. And the Rift focuses VERY well on seated VR experiences, and standing with minimal movement, which are perfect for what most people can accommodate, as well as afford.

        The price is actually really good, for what we’re getting. There’s a lot of quality packed in, and they’re selling it to us at cost. So I’m happy with the price. Oculus realized that the DK2 was not enough, no where near good enough to induce and sustain the feeling of presence in VR, that is needed to convince consumers. Anything more affordable at this stage, wouldn’t have been good enough for consumers, and would have still required a beefy computer to run. So the price shouldn’t be an issue. Yes, $600 is a lot more than they said originally, it’s a lot more than they wanted to sell it for.. But this level of quality is needed right now, and some people can afford it just fine. VR has to be truly impressive, before it can become affordable for everyone. Give it a generation or so.
        What other things do you consider a u-turn for Oculus? IMO, they’ve held very true to their origin, and the community, and have done an amazing job bringing VR back into a serious industry. I don’t think anyone could have brought VR back, any better than Oculus did, at this stage.

        • polysix

          Problem is the rift itself is already too expensive to make it viable to anyone BUT a VR fanatic such as you and I, therefore VR fanatics WON’T care (prefer in fact) to pay the same or a bit more for a FULL VR solution leaving the rift in a no mans land, sony/gearVR for the masses, VIVE for the PC hardcore who get how important input is (and how fun room scale can be) and rift is this strangely priced, odd man out in the middle – nice screen, does the job but just not exciting enough alone, esp for those of us who’ve already used DK2 extensively and CRAVE input and better/fuller tracking.

          • OkinKun

            Naw, the Rift wont have any problems, price wise.. I have 2 friends who’ve also preordered the Rift, so I don’t think it’ll have any problem. It’s an excellent price per quality value! For the price, there wont be much out there that’s as good. People frequently pay this much for new smart phones, TVs, gaming monitors, graphics cards… So I don’t think it’s a problem at all.

          • polysix

            oooh two friends eh? well there goes the VR revolution, we’re all saved. I know at least 10 people who were going to buy but aren’t now, mainly because they all but had it said to them it would be around $350 but was double that. It’s not the price but the lies that did it.

          • OkinKun

            All I meant by that, was that I know 2 people, in real life (not online), who are also buying this expensive early-adopter VR device.. And that’s actually statistically significant, especially considering none of us are usually early-adopters of anything. The price didn’t matter, the “lie” didn’t matter, and Palmer Lucky has already explained an apologized for that misleading-price mistake.. In retrospect, it makes total sense, once you understand the way it ended up happening, so I don’t hold it against Oculus.

  • rms

    Oof. Both the article and video come across as extremely amateurish, and I’m quite disappointed. A couple examples: Saying the Vive provides a better experience without having tried the CV1 is amateur journalism. Was this even the actual Pre that other articles have mentioned incorporates a front-facing camera view? Sigh.

  • Clyde Harvey

    I’ve tried just about all of the current VR Headsets, and i can say, the VIVE blows them all away.
    Last week, i was able to do the full demo at CES.

    The one thing that sets the VIVE apart from even Occulus, is the use of external sensors, which allow you to roam freely without worry about crashing blindly into stuff.

    If they are bundling the sensors and controllers with the headset, i wouldn’t be surprised to see a $1000+ price tag.
    although i hope not. because i want one badly

    • polysix

      Exactly, even with out the oculus pricing f-up, VIVE was always going to be the class leader, all things being equal (screens being of similar if not identical spec) it’s clear that the precise robust tracking, proper VR input from the start and the extremely welcome and warranted chaperone/camera (even for seated just to be able to “see” stuff when you need to – which drove me mad in the DK2 without that).. well it’s clear. Vive is something that gets you fired up and WANTING to own it even if you’ve had DK2 or whatever other HMD, but Rift is only a small incremental improvement and ONLY in the HMD, no input yet (may as well not exist as delayed and market fragmented) and bad standing/walking trackability without future add on cams and lots of camera wiring.

      Yes they are bundling the vive with controls and laser base stations but the base stations are actually fairly ‘cheap’ to make vs the type of sensors used by the oculus system and the rift camera. The biggest expense outside of the HMD is the controllers but as I wrote above I’d expect around $700 *IF* they price fairly, and the same or less than the rift if they really want to “win” the VR battle at round 1.

      A lot of people who’ve not used a DK2 or a real (not cardboard) HMD seem to think that CV1 rift at $600 is just fine, because they want that fix and fast – been there done that with a DK2. What VR really needed to make it livable, fully enjoyable and fun to use a lot was better tracking for standing/walking (hey you can still sit and play cockpit games nobody stopping ya! I love em too but man do walking experiences feel great!), Proper input AND the ability to ‘peep outside the VR world’ without having to take the HMD off – which is a pain when they are all still quite bulky. The stylised pass-through style of the vive is a brilliant way of doing it (even if seated) and I applaud vive for truly thinking about what matters for the full experience, and making it empowering, livable and fun to actually use.

      For me it’ll be Vive or nothing till round two next year or so. I may pick up the (obviously less impressive) Playstation VR in the meantime jsut for the exclusives and IF it’s cheap.

      • Clyde Harvey

        PSVR has no appeal to me whatsoever, due to the fact i am not invested in the Playstation universe…
        Whereas, i AM heavily invested in Steam, so the Vive is a natural choice right out of the gate…

        I remember the first time i tried the DK2, was playing Half Life 2, standing stationary…
        while it was good enough to blow my mind visually, it wasn’t long before i got sick, and almost fell over, due to the disconnect between my senses.

        i seriously hope they can price this competitively, because inferior technologies always win out when there is a price gap.
        Beta vs VHS anyone?

        that being said, I want to see the market flooded with options.
        Competition drives innovation, and that’s exactly what we need.

  • Yuma55

    “Sony’s Playstation VR is rumored to have a price tag anywhere between $800-$1,200.”

    I see the “rumor” still hasn’t died.

  • HTC would like to remind us that they pioneered pricing products twice that of competing products.

  • GOD

    yall niggas need to stop trollin. it will be 799 tops

  • DougP

    Re: “HTC to justify a price tag that’s two and a half times higher.”
    No it’s not – you’d need to compare like-for-like.
    1st – ADD the 2x VR controllers
    2nd – ADD a USB camera so the Oculus can “see”
    Then perhaps add a 2nd “external” camera to increase the detection to be something similar to what the Vive can do. Therefore improving issues with occlusion presented by the single camera & moving your body/controllers around & losing sight.

    AFTER you’ve added up the total cost on the Rift to be *comparable* in features/options included with the VIve – then see if it’s still you 2.5x times as expensive (if the $1500 turns out to be the price).
    Hint: it won’t be

  • lifsabsurd

    Seems to me it is time for HTC to open up. Let’s hear the official price. From them. And the PC requirements. Now.

  • Guy

    ROFL, at that price VR devs will be pulling out of the industry left and right. I’d like to know how credible that source is, given that Veblen goods have never been Valves policy.

  • Orangeunderpants

    “In all fairness, I’d have to say it’s also the best VR experience you’ll find. I haven’t had a chance to try the final version of the Rift yet, but if it’s anything like the countless non-final versions I’ve demoed, it simply doesn’t stack up to the immersive smoothness of the Vive.” <<< Nothing fair about your statement. Some other journalists have concluded that Oculus is better overall in terms of image quality and software titles. Vive has a slightly bigger FOV but suffers from screen reflections on its low density fresnel lenses. Vive has room-scale tracking which is useless when its dragging cables. Screen door effect was more apparent on the Vive.

  • sirlance

    If it’s over 799.00 it might fail. …considering we are heading for a terrible recession. …that’s what happens when you print money for 8 years

  • mod3rnnightmar3

    The vive is just staring pre orders now. Its already up to $1100 in canada… I’m sorry!!!! i wouldnt pay $800 bucks let alone a $1100. so stupid!