GDC 2017: HTC Vive Payment Plan Revealed

by Jamie Feltham • February 27th, 2017

VR headsets are expensive, especially the $799 HTC Vive. It’s certainly not something just anyone can afford upfront, but HTC and retailer partners are now giving consumers more options.

Last year we reported that UK games seller Game was offering a chance to get the Vive through monthly payments. Now other companies are taking that on board. In America, JD.com will sell the Vive with a 0% financing scheme with monthly payments of $138 (plus tax and shipping) over six months, or $66.58 over 12 months. A 7.99% plan for $40.13 a month over two years is also available.

In China, meanwhile, three 0% financing schemes are on offer. One is for three months at ¥2,296 ($334.05), the next is for six months at ¥1,148 ($167.02), and the final is over a year at ¥574 ($83.51).

This may be a key way of getting VR into people’s hands, though that money still doesn’t get them the expensive, high-end PC needed to actually use a Vive. It’s one of several varying business models the company is trying for its kit, the other including upcoming subscriptions for content services, and offering software to location-based arcades. Just how well any of these schemes stack up to more traditional business models remains to be seen.

Updates on this story to come.

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  • OkinKun

    Naw, this isn’t the way. I think we should be pushing to have the overall price of these HMDs drop around $100-$200, and that will do wonders to more consumers to buy. I think FAR more people would consider buying an HMD if it’s price was more around $450ish. Even with the price of controllers/room-scale bundled additionally or separately, that’s still going to make it affordable for a lot more people.
    The answer is NOT to keep the hardware expensive, and then just stick people into debt with payment plans. Very few will go for that. There is no reason the hardware costs can’t be reduced by a significant amount, the industry just has to keep working/developing.
    The more popular it gets, the cheaper it will become.. But even as a stepping stone, I don’t think this sorta thing will be necessary.

    • zambutu

      I think they should be cheaper by now simply because they’re a year old. No way they’ll get these premium units with controllers down to 450$, not for a long time. Payment plans are the only way many people will be able to buy these including me. The Vive costs 1150$ in Canada here, how’s that for expensive.

      • Scott C

        Well, but that’s 1150 in Canadian dollars. It’s worth the same amount, the number’s just bigger because the greenback’s stronger.

        • zambutu

          Not that much stronger. It’s roughly 43% more expensive here for a Vive or Rift… Exchange rate is only about 26%. The fact is we have to work just as hard for a Cdn dollar as you do for an American.

          • Get Schwifty!

            And those wonderful VAT’s…. however, 36% difference is a lot stronger, not sure what you think counts as “stronger”… the reality is the USD has more confidence currently as a currency than the Loonie does… the reality is you are working for the equivalent of 0.74 USD…. in effect the value of you’re labor on the world market is about 3/4 of what the same work is for someone from the US.

          • zambutu

            It’s the extra 15% FU tax added on that irritates me

    • towblerone

      >I think we should be pushing to have the overall price of these HMDs drop around $100-$200

      That’s going to happen naturally over time, BUT VR won’t survive long enough to get to that point if the buy-in cost is beyond the reach of 95% of consumers.

      A payment plan is a win-win situation for everyone at this point. There is no down side.

    • GeekLife

      Are you a future teller? Occulus just dropped the cost of their bundle by $200 on the 1st.

      • OkinKun

        hah Yeah weird. My prediction was pretty close. ;D

  • koenshaku

    Well an iPhone is $800 with similar plans, so I don’t see why not ^_^

    • zambutu

      Yes and no data plan needed

      • ravzir

        Yeah, no data plan needed, but software needed…

        • zambutu

          Software? ..You mean hardware?

          • ravzir

            Nope… Software. $20 here, $10 there, $50 over there… it adds up. I know it’s not much, but when you get a $1000 piece of hardware and you also need to spend a lot of money on games/experiences (most of which are just that: short “experiences”), it’s a bit of a hard sell. Especially for other countries where the headset is not officially released yet (after a year) and the prices are double that of the MSRP.

          • zambutu

            Oh you meant games, etc, yes certainly. But ultimately the same idea as owning a PC. You buy games if you want to play games or you surf and watch Netflix if you want to do that. In the long run VR will/can be just an alternate living space. The killer ap will be just that, a living hangout/social space. Hopefully it will be one payment only, …or free with lots of ads lol.

          • zambutu

            my hope for games is that all major AAA games will ad a VR option so we can play however we prefer. I’m personally holding off on a rig because I want it to at least be a viable monitor replacement. Maybe gen 2.

          • Texmex

            Gen1 isn’t for peasants with an allowance. Wait for Gen3 if you can’t afford it.

          • Jeff Jarods

            I like that it cost to be on the cutting edge and all that happens is we get screwed over 4 it I just bought touch for 200 in December when it came out it’s only March and their 99 now we support these assholes but still you said it

        • koenshaku

          Plenty of good free experiences too like watching movies and the social VR games. Besides many of the games aren’t all that expensive anyway average title is around $10-$20 bucks then you can sometimes grab keys from ebay or other sites for further discounts.

    • GeekLife

      That’s not an accurate comparison. A real comparison would be if you paid $800 for the iPhone screen then had to pay an additional $1500 for the rest of the phone to run the display.

  • jimrp

    About time