HTC is now selling “certified pre-owned” first generation Vives for $399, the same price as a new Oculus Rift S.
This is the original HTC Vive which first released in April 2016 for $799 new. In 2017 it was reduced to $599, and finally to $499 in 2018. HTC made the headset lighter after its initial launch and replaced the old bulky cable with a lighter 3-in-1 cable. These pre-owned Vives will come with the new cable, but it is unclear whether buyers will get the lighter version of the headset or not.
The recently released successor to the Vive, Vive Cosmos, is priced around $699 and reviewers noted difficulty with the headset working in any but the brightest lighting conditions, although HTC improved this with software updates. HTC previously stated the original Vive is “coming out of the market”, so this could be the last official availability of the much loved 2016 system. The certified pre-owned Vives come with a 1 year warranty, but keep in mind this is an already-used product and finding replacement parts after a couple years may be expensive or difficult.
If your interpupillary distance is in the Rift S’s supported range, Facebook’s PC-only headset would probably be the safer purchase with greatly increased angular resolution, reduced screen door effect, and more ergonomic controllers. And of course, keep in mind the Oculus Quest standalone wireless system is getting support for the Oculus Link mode that will turn it into a wired PC VR headset. Still, there might be a case for the used Vive for some people who don’t want to support Facebook, have uncommon IPDs, or want the SteamVR Tracking system and a lower cost way to combine it with Valve’s $279 Index Controllers.