GDC 2017: HTC ‘Doesn’t See The Need to Cut the Price of Vive’ After Rift Drop

by Joe Durbin • March 1st, 2017

In an official statement, HTC is addressing today’s news that Oculus is dropping the price of its Rift VR headset and Touch VR controllers. In an email to UploadVR, a representative for the company explained that:

We don’t feel the need to cut the price of Vive, as we’ve had incredible success, and continue to see great momentum in market.  We’ve built a strong ecosystem made up of Viveport, Vive X, Vive Tracker and Vive Studios, and remain laser focused and are not changing our strategy of delivering the best and most comprehensive VR product to both developers and consumers.

The Vive currently costs $800 for a system that includes a headset and a pair of tracked controllers. Until today, the Rift headset was $600 and the Touch controllers were $200. Now, consumers can get Rift and Touch together for $600 which is a significant undercut to HTC.

From what third party analysts have indicated, the Vive does seem to be outselling the Rift by thousands of units. Those reports remain unconfirmed officially by either company.Time will tell if the Rift’s new price will help them close this reported gap.

Price is not all that separates Rift and Vive, however. From the very beginning, these two devices were separated based on capabilities. Vive launched with its controllers in the box and a tracking system that allowed for 360 turns and “room-scale” movement. Oculus, therefore, had to play a bit of catch up by launching Touch several months after Rift and battling tracking issues in a quest to provide flawless room-scale experience of its own.

Feature parity between Rift and Vive is closer now than its has ever been before. The lines between the headsets are blurrier than they were at launch and now, armed with a price drop, Rift is the most threatening it has ever been to HTC’s hard won market share.

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