Black Friday: HTC Vive Bundled With Audio Strap And Fallout For $600

by Ian Hamilton • November 23rd, 2017

Purchasing an HTC Vive from Nov. 24 through Nov. 27 will get buyers a room-scale Vive, the Deluxe Audio Strap accessory and copies of both Fallout 4 VR and Tilt Brush.

The deal is priced around $600 and is available both online and retail locations where Vive is sold.

Bundling the Deluxe Audio Strap for free equates to a $100 discount for the headset with the audio solution. The Vive includes an excellent tracking system that is relatively convenient compared with an Oculus Rift because the base stations just need to be plugged into power to track the headset, controllers and Vive Trackers which can be attached to a host of accessories. The Rift requires three PC-connected cameras with cords running around the room to offer a comparable amount of space in which to walk around freely in a virtual world.

The Rift, however, is discounted to $350 for Black Friday. It includes integrated audio by default and the Rift can access content both on Steam and the Oculus Store. A hack is needed for HTC Vive to access Oculus Store content. Adding a third sensor to the Rift adds another $60 to the price.

So altogether, you’re looking at Black Friday deals pitting a room-scale Rift at $410 against room-scale Vive at $600 for similar room-scale freedom. That’s a significant gap in price. If you choose Vive you’re spending an extra $190 for a more convenient tracking solution at the cost of using an inconvenient hack to access some of the great Oculus-exclusive content. You’re also losing the superior Touch controllers by choosing Vive.

Of course, HTC is putting a lot of effort into promoting its Viveport store with a subscription plan also getting some huge Black Friday discounts. There are a number of quality apps from Steam available on Viveport as well, and if you pick the $30 yearly subscription it gives you access to 60 apps for the year at that price.

It is also worth noting both Lenovo and Acer headsets powered by Microsoft’s ultra-convenient tracking technology are discounted to $300 for Black Friday. Initial support for Steam just came online for those headsets as well, offering a wide range of VR content at a low priced entry point.

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  • R3ST4RT

    I’m extremely torn between these two headsets. On the one side I’ve tried the vive. I know I like it and it comes with fallout 4 which is something I really want to play but it’s also fairly expensive (i’m in Canada). On the other side, I haven’t tried the rift. I know it has good ergonomics and it’s significantly cheaper than the vive but it doesn’t come bundled with fallout 4.

    Does anyone know if fallout 4 will support the rift through the steam store? And does anyone have experience with the difference between room scale for the rift vs vive? I’ve read a few articles but I would love to hear peoples personal opinions.

    • J.C.

      I can’t answer all of your questions on this, but I can say that you should take the room and the computer it’ll be in into consideration. The Vive doesn’t require wires to be ran back to the computer from the base stations, only the headset. Nor does it need a USB port for each sensor. So if your PC is a laptop, keep that in mind. Rift owners, does using a USB hub cause any issues?

      The Rift’s headset is lighter, but I have an original Vive, which is heavier than the newer ones, so that might not be as much to worry about. The audio headstrap is a MUST on Vive, as it’s SO much more comfortable. The Rift’s controllers are quite nice, but I’ve only used them for a VERY short period of time. The Vive wands are functional and solid, but definitely feel like a rushed design.

      At the prices, the Rift is the obvious choice. The ONLY thing that should be considered toward the Vive is the sensor setup. Remember, the Rift will drop to $350 during Black Friday.

    • Crunchy005

      I have an original vive so like J.C. said the newer ones are lighter and the audio strap makes things far more comfortable. For $600 you get a $100 audio strap and $60 Fallout 4, which puts the actual value of the base Vive here at $440 with the extras you get in the bundle. For equal room scale on the rift you will need a third sensor so it will be $410 with the deal.

      Both headsets are fairly equal in performance, the touch controllers are better, but the vive has the knuckle controllers coming(not sure if that influences you decision), the vive controllers are more fine and I can say fairly durable(I have smacked a wall pretty hard multiple times, lol), and comfort is subjective(both are fine). I think you should mainly look at sensor setup.

      I have the vive mainly do to the fact that the room I run room-scale in doesn’t have the spots I need to set up 3 sensors and leave them in place, or the ability to run USB cables to each one from my computer. I also don’t believe the field of view of the rift cameras(smaller than vive sensors which are 120 degrees I believe) would work in my space either. The vive sensors I have mounted and never move so I don’t have to redo room setup ever. This is a nice convenience and I also like the more open platform steam seems to be working with. At $350($410 for room-scale) the rift is a great deal.

      I really hope these price cuts speed up VR adoption this holiday season. Would love to see more people in some of the online games.

    • CURTROCK

      Both headsets are great. The main issue is space. If you have a large play area, get the VIVE. If not, Rift. Don’t buy a HMD based on access to 1 game (Fallout4)

      • Crunchy005

        Even in a smaller space the vive might be the better choice. It really depends on where he can set up the sensors. Rift’s sensors are more limited in positioning for proper coverage than the vive sensors are. The vive with the audio strap and the games is a good deal. $80 in games and $100 strap, basically paying $420 for the vive itself you just are also paying for the extras. A bundle at $500 with the standard strap would be nice, lol. The rift is about $410 for proper roomscale, is a more closed system, and there isn’t any planned hardware upgrades for it like the vive’s knuckle controllers, vive trackers, drop in eye tracking lenses, new sensors. Aside form wireless which is being released for the rift as well…at some point. The rift is still a great deal at $350($410), but there are other things to consider as well besides just a game. Better ecosystem support, future upgrades, the ability to have proper sensor setup in the planned VR room could justify the vive over the rift.

        • impurekind

          To be fair, the Rift isn’t exactly a very “closed” system when it also fully and officially supports all the Vive/Steam games anyway, at least not in terms of the software you can play/experience on it. And any other way it’s “closed” seems largely irrelevant as far as I can see; it’s certainly not had a negative impact on the system thus far.

    • R3ST4RT

      Thanks for all of the input! I did some poking around and the rift does require extra items to make proper roomscale work:

      $410 – Headset with additional camera
      $19.50 – 3x USB3.0 extension cables
      $10.00 – HDMI Extension Cable
      —————-
      $439.50

      On top of that it requires 4 usb ports which with my m-ITX motherboard really isn’t an option since I already have a headphones, keyboard, and mouse. My setup will be in my unfinished basement which allows me to mount sensors wherever which is going to be nice and makes me lean heavily to the vive.

      • Crunchy005

        Yep, sensor placement and room size. The vive has a max diagonal room size of 16′ 4″ (3.5m x 3.5m I believe) while the rift has a maximum of 3m x 3m(or so people say, some say maybe stretch it to 3.5m x 3.5m, but no guarantee). USB extension cables are a pain and there can be USB bandwidth issues as well. If you’re limited on USB ports the Vive only uses 1 USB 2.0 port.

      • koenshaku

        Why not remove all the sensors together and go windows MR? Steam support is currently in preview mode for it and Bethesda would sooner support MS than Oculus. Assess your options and what you don’t mind using with your system before you take the plunge. Some WMR HMDs will be as cheap as $299 next week on the MS Store. I purchased a Vive myself, because I didn’t want the USB cables all over the place and they were still having tracking issues at the time. WMR should be a consideration I think.

      • Firestorm185

        Well with the extra camera that’s actually 3 USB 3’s, one for the Rift and 2 for the cams, unless you’re thinking of buying a third camera, in which case your price total would be higher, but essentially yes, it’s cheaper for Rift but without extra 3D printed or purchased mounts you’re basically limited to desk standing sensors, versus the Vive which can be set up through the room anywhere near a power outlet. If you have the extra 200$ USD to spend I’d probably recommend MR or Vive for roomscale easy of setup but if you want a headset thats more comfortable (imo, haven’t had a chance to get a Deluxe strap yet for my Vive)
        and the best controllers on the market so far (also imo) with the cost of a slight bit more setup, then definitely go for Rift. Plus with that new price point you save a bit! (I paid full price for both Rift and Touch at launch, plus a 3rd cam and extension cables, yeesh that was expensive) xD

        Oh and I own both Vive and Rift as well. >w<

  • Justin Jones

    I tried both and wanted an Oculus but I went Vive instead. Been a few months now and I don’t regret it. My pc is in a different room with the cables passing through the wall. My playspace is in my rec room. My wife would have never dealt with usb cables running up all the walls. The vive solution works better and is just so much cleaner, not to mention portable. I can pack up the vive and set it up in under 5 minutes. They are both great, but the vive lighthouse system is easily worth the price difference in the long run for me. If you have a room you can dedicate to VR it might not matter as much.

  • Patrick Bradley

    As someone who has the HTC Vive, I’d say go with the rift. Not that Vive is bad, far from it. Just at these prices the vive is simply a bad deal.