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.