HTC Vive Now $599, Gets A Permanent $200 Price Cut

by David Jagneaux • August 21st, 2017

HTC is slashing the price of the Vive by $200, bringing it to $599.

After approximately a year and a half on the market the HTC Vive is still one of the most advanced VR devices on the planet as it operates out of the box at room-scale, but easily working in standing or seated arrangements as well. However, all that technology came at a premium price that has, until right now, remained at $799 for the Vive headset, two motion controllers, and two base stations for tracking. Other than a few flash sales and minor discounts it’s been stuck at that price.

The updated package, priced at $599 for everything mentioned above, includes download codes for Richie’s Plank Experience, Everest VR, and Tilt Brush on Steam, as well as a one-month subscription to Viveport. The Viveport service has over 200 apps available, but you can only pick five to get access to over the course of a single month. It’s sort of like selectively renting content.

“It’s been a long time coming from a planned perspective and we’re very excited about it,” Dan O’Brien, General Manager for HTC Vive in the Americas, said to UploadVR during a phone interview last week. “The first year and a half has been great. We’re very happy with market share from a consumer standpoint. But as we come into Q3 and Q4, we are lowering the price to $599 permanently.” The price should be in effect as of this very minute or very soon after 12:01AM PT.

This is great news for the VR industry as price is the biggest barrier to entry right now. Consumers still need powerful PCs to run content on a Vive, but the price point will certainly help some decide to pull the trigger. As great as this news is though, the timing is very interesting. Earlier this year Oculus slashed the price of the Rift and Touch bundle and is currently running a massive “Summer of Rift” promotion that brings the cost of the entire bundle to just $399. After the sale is over a Rift and Touch with two sensors will still be $100 cheaper than the HTC Vive: $499.

According to O’Brien, this price cut is not a reaction to the Oculus sale or price drops. “We plan out our pricing and margins and life cycle planning a year plus in advance,” he said. “We planned a lot of price cuts and flash sales with events through the year that proved successful, but now as we go into the second selling season for holiday it’s time to bring the price down permanently and open up to a larger audience…This is not to clear inventory or set the stage for something else. This is us executing a long-term strategy plan to get to the point in the year when consumer dollars are spent more heavily on consumer electronics. From years of experience this is the right time to reset a price for a sucessful Q3 and Q4. This is about boosting adoption across the globe, it’s a global price drop.”

It’s also worth mentioning that UploadVR’s own Ian Hamilton recently penned an editorial last month specifically stating the HTC Vive needed a price cut to stay competitive. Wanna take a guess which number he named? Yep, $599. It’s the same topic we raised to you, our readers, just about a week ago as well in our Community Download column. Once it’s over the Rift vs. Vive race should heat up like never before and make this holiday season very competitive.

“I believe that this price cut is a good thing for the VR industry and the Vive platform,” said Anshel Sag, Associate Analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “It not only makes Vive more accessible and affordable but also gives room for people to buy Vive accessories which should be available soon. I think this price cut may be seen as reactionary, and perhaps it is a bit. However, they could’ve cut the price earlier, but didn’t need to because sales were still pretty good. I still believe both [Vive and Rift] headsets need to come down in price to become truly mainstream but this is a good starting point. The Vive is still the best experience in my opinion and I think they know that based on this price.”

Sony’s PlayStation VR is still only $399 but requires a ~$40 tracking camera to work, which is sold separately, and doesn’t include optionally supported motion controllers in the base model either.

The PSVR is a PS4-powered device as opposed to the PC-powered ecosystem of the Rift and Vive, but the three are often regarded as the top three non-mobile headsets on the market. In terms of market share of the three the PSVR is still leading with over 1 million sales. Sony hasn’t moved the PSVR from it’s initial price point either so you should expect to see a new bundle or price cut of some kind for this holiday season.

What do you think of the price cut? Will it help the Vive stay competitive? Do you think it was reactionary at all? Let us know down in the comments below!

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  • Meafun Net

    remind me of the financial report of HTC released several days ago …

    • Morten Nørgaard

      Quite a bit of money lost, that’s for sure.

      • Crunchy005

        Ya VR hasn’t exactly taken off like crazy. Can’t imagine Facebook is making a ton of money on oculus. Both companies are betting on the long term

        • KUKWES

          they should have more representatives openly going to colleges, malls, events demonstrating the tech so people can get over thinking it is just a fad.

          • Mane Vr

            fb does this at our local mall but with gear vr demos and talking about the rift I never see anything about vive anywhere.. fb is branding Oculus if htc doesn’t do more joe public is going to c the rift as the vr hmd to get. I am sure by now both vive and rift is over 5ook sold but as they get close to a mil and over branding is going to be huge and hardcore gamers isn’t going to be enough for vive to keep it’s lead if it has it now

        • CQCoder

          I doubt Facebook is making any money given the amount they are bribing the companies to make exclusive titles.

        • NooYawker

          FB and HTC have completely different business models. HTC must eventually make a profit from selling devices. FB may never make a profit from selling devices and games.. but it doesn’t matter, that’s not where their profits come from.

      • NooYawker

        I wonder how HTC still exists… their phone business fell apart, while the Vive sold well, definitely not enough to make a profit.. more likely shows a loss like you said. Where’s all this money coming from?

  • Hone McBone

    Anything to get more people into VR, but I still think that there’s an argument to wait for the next iteration of the Vive.

    • wheeler

      For the most part I agree. I can only recommend that enthusiasts get in now–and maybe even they should wait for LG. For everyone else, wait for wireless and higher resolution HMDs.

      • Hone McBone

        There’s definitely value there for certain games, it’s hard not to recommend it for racing sims.

  • Gregory Martin

    I’d consider this if they included the new ‘deluxe audio’ upgrade as a standard part of the package, but not as a hundred dollar add-on

    • That feels like it should have happened, yeah.

      • CQCoder

        Yes that needs to happen. The strap is soooo much better.

    • GreasyMullet

      The DAS should have been included in this price to be competitive. It fixes a design flaw of the VIVE to bring it in line with what others have been providing for a long time. I am a huge fan of SteamVR but really not happy with how HTC has been conducting themselves. While this is a step in the right direction its too little too late. We know new lighthouses, knuckles, and SteamVR LG are right around the corner

  • impurekind

    Great. Any price drop is more than welcome.

  • wheeler

    Happy to see this. Once the Rift goes back up to $500 (+$50 for a 3rd sensor), the Vive is competitive again. I still wish the deluxe headstrap would ship with new Vives but at the moment I’m happy HTC is making at least one good decision.

  • Justos

    “Premium headset, premium price” – LOL

    Thank goodness for competition. We all know that HTC didn’t do this because they wanted to. I bet they are still profiting off the HMD with the new price. Greedy company never changes, and they will sink.

    Bring on the new steamVR headsets I say.

    • CQCoder

      It’s called capitalism. The Facebook lock in attempt is a far more serious issue.

    • NooYawker

      What company wants to lower their prices? Just like the intel i7’s have had incremental speed boosts all these years because AMD fell off. Suddenly the Ryzen comes along and now we hear the i8 is going to blow everything away. Love or hate Oculus/Vive.. the more companies in the fray the better.

      • CQCoder

        Yes absolutely on competition. I despise FB for the exclusive crap but they keep the Vive on it’s toes and vice versa. More players in the game please.

      • Jim Cherry

        Hate to be that guy but there is no i8 your confusing the i9 high end desktop part with intels just anounced 8th generation consumer parts.

        • NooYawker

          You are correct, it’s is the i9, and you’re not being that guy. Thanks.

  • We were all expecting this. Vive is a great product, but it isn’t 2x times better than the Rift… its price was too high wrt the competition.

  • David D. Taylor

    The Rift is still a better buy. The Rift would still be a better buy at the same price as the Vive. The scales would start to tip if the Vive were a bit cheaper than the Rift, but as Vive is a “Premium” product, that’s unlikely to happen. Everything about the Rift is better, except the tracking, and the tracking is almost as good as the Vive… if you set it up right… to a point where I can’t tell a difference. Using both HMDs for hours each week, that’s the comparison I can make.

    • CQCoder

      Hardly. The price doesn’t include the sensors required for full room scale. The tracking still isn’t as good (and really, it’s kind of important) no matter how you set it up and don’t get me started on the multitude of USB cable required. As far as ‘better’…that’s just silly. They are pretty much the same on most fronts…except tracking.

      • Mane Vr

        this is only if u care about room scale and with full locomotion in game become a thing room scale is needed less and less in fact there isn’t even a need to stand beside peoples wanting to. I never stand when playing and I find it way more enjoyable than standing but to each his own. but to keep bring up room scale like as if that is what everyone wants isn’t the case. I know people who think vr isn’t worth it cause they watching youtube vid of people walking around to play games the first thing they say is i’m not going to set a side room just to play video games. to which I tell them u don’t have to that just what those people has choose to do.

        • CQCoder

          I concur with everyone has their own likes…but…less room scale? I’l have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. The releases simply don’t bear that out – at least not for the Vive. Room scale is an afterthought with the Rift, so sure, that’s probably correct there. I cannot imagine playing Raw Data or Arizona Sunshine or some of the upcoming dungeon crawlers seated.

          • Mane Vr

            the number one sell hmd can’t do room scale joe public doesn’t know anything about room scale. you got to remember the avg person doesn’t want to be active for their ent. if they did less people would be fat. i’m a personal trainer trust me when I say people want to do as little activities as they can to get thru their day. if vr becomes about asking people to be active it will die. the thing that most uses hmd for is 360 vids they’ll try a game here and while they think it’s cool most won’t buy one because it’s asking them to set aside space and to be active at a time when what they want to do is relax. psvr is going to be huge not just because it’s the cheapest but also because it’s the one that require less effort to play. roomscale is a selling point but it hasn’t been so big of a selling point that it’s selling in the millions. example the wii started with the hype of motion controllers by the end of itlife few very played it standing up people sat to play tennis and bowling

        • Caven

          Roomscale may not be a big deal, but 360-degree tracking most definitely is. Forward-facing VR has too many annoying limitations, as evidenced by trying to play Arizona Sunshine on a PS4.

      • David D. Taylor

        Even buying a 3rd sensor would be cheaper than the Vive setup. With a 3rd sensor, it is just as good… I’ve had it since december, and have never had tracking issues… but maybe i’m just REALLY lucky… Touch controllers, a million times better in every way to the Vive wands. The headset itself is easier to put on, has really good, comfortable audio built in. Wheeler (see above) is awesome for listing very specific things on why he likes the Vive better. But even with all the things he listed, I can’t see the difference. I work in VR, and have to switch between the two constantly, and it is always a relief to switch to the Rift… The Vive is not immune to tracking issues either, as I’ve had more issues having to reset Vive’s tracking because the sensor got bumped.

        All in all, it’s up to each person to decide what is best for them. The above is my opinion based on hundreds of hours of use between the two, over the last year. I like the Oculus more because it’s built more comfortable, didn’t put audio in as an afterthought, easier to put over the head, the far superior touch controllers… I realize the knuckles are coming, but having not tried them, I’m basing opinion on what’s out there… and while the extra USB 3.0 requirements is annoying, I will admit, it’s a small price to pay for the amazing headset, controllers and free content you get with purchase.

        • CQCoder

          Ok man glad it works for you – conversation has become pointless. This is all personal opinion and everyone has one. (I mean, seriously, you’re going to ding the Vive for not working when you bump the sensors?) Enjoy!

          • David D. Taylor

            I only dinged the Vive, because you dinged the Oculus for something that isn’t any issue anymore. I’ve moved the sensors on Oculus without having to reset the sensors. Can’t say the same for Vive. At the end of the day, it is all opinion. Thanks for sharing yours, it’s good to see things from the other side. Best Regards!

        • Crunchy005

          The lack of extra ports on the oculus is another ding for it. My friend uses his USB headset with the extra USB port, I use the audio strap now but before that I used my PSB headphones with my vive. The extra USB is the way the eye tracking drop in lenses for the vive will work. All things the rift doesn’t get.

    • NooYawker

      The Vive is definitely the better buy. Not having to run wires all over your room, and sketchy tinkering is invaluable.

    • wheeler

      I agree that the Rift has better controllers for hand presence (not so much for wielding objects, e.g. guns, swords) and a more comfortable strap, but the display itself is not so cut and dry. The Vive screen is much brighter, has a wider FOV (binocular FOV is 110×113 vs Rift’s 94×93, or in isolation 102×113 vs 84×93), less mura, less pupil swim, less noticeable god rays, less light leakage / smaller nose gap, and full stereo overlap. This last point is why I prefer the Vive–I just can’t tune out the “black rectangles”/”boxed in feeling” in the Rift–but it seems to affect people differently. The rift on the other hand has a slightly larger “in focus” spot and less chromatic aberration.

      • johann jensson

        Sounds like they’re both not worth 600 bucks (at least to me) – i need a big FOV with a big sweet spot.

        Sigh, waiting for next generation, as established many months ago. 🙂

        PS: Just to be fair – the thing with the stereo overlap would be the dealbreaker for me, if i’d decide to be dumb and buy a VR peripheral now. Thanks for the interesting info, Wheeler.

  • Daniel Lopes

    I think HTC doped the price because of the new Base stations and Knuckles controllers Valve is working on. (Gen 1 Vive in not compatible) People should wait to see when Gen 2 products will be release.

    • wheeler

      Knuckles (and any other SteamVR 2.0 tracked objects/HMDs) work fine with Vive/SteamVR 1.0 base stations. The incompatibility is that the new/upcoming SteamVR 2.0 base stations that Valve will sell won’t work with SteamVR 1.0 tracked objects, not that SteamVR 2.0 tracked objects (like Knuckles) won’t work with SteamVR 1.0 base stations. So it’s not really an issue because existing Vive owners are not going to upgrade the base stations before the HMD or controllers–by the time they’re ready to purchase new base stations they will already have a SteamVR 2.0 HMD/controllers.

      The only individuals that this incompatibility creates an issue for are those that want to do warehouse scale tracking (only possible with SteamvR 2.0 base stations) with their Vive (SteamVR 1.0 device). If you have the money to do warehouse VR, you’re probably going to purchase a new HMD and controllers anyway. This group of consumers is extremely small.

      I think the reason they reduced the price is a combination of competition from the Rift and upcoming competition from SteamVR HMDs like the LG headset.

  • Robert Cole

    Still selling at full price (GBP £759) in electrical retailers here in the UK, although the HTC Vive UK site is showing the price reduction…might want to tell the retailers?

  • Phil_NYC

    The Vive vs Oculus debate is pointless. If you are spending $600 plus on VR gear, do you think its really worth buying the cheaper Oculus to sacrifice immersion quality? This debate is moot.

    • Jim Cherry

      why would anyone spend 600 plus on oculus its selling for 400 ;} and if you bought a pc with a graphics card in the last 2-3 yrs your all set.

      • Phil_NYC

        Fair. I bought a new desktop for VR, as I’ve used my laptop for other games, so it seemed a waste to sacrifice any quality for savings of less than 10%.

        • daveinpublic

          If you don’t want to sacrifice quality, then why get the Vive? They both do roomscale, they both have touch controls, they both have OLED screens at the same resolution. The controllers and quality of the headset are better on the Rift.

  • johann jensson

    Far too late, train has moved on to higher resolutions already. I’m waiting for next gen, and i think many other do too.

  • wowgivemeabreak

    “According to O’Brien, this price cut is not a reaction to the Oculus sale or price drops. “We plan out our pricing and margins and life cycle planning a year plus in advance,””

    What a load of bull. Just once I want someone at a company to not feed blatant BS that insults the IQ of everyone who has a high enough IQ to see through the blatant bull.

  • daveinpublic

    At $599 it still sounds expensive, especially when you consider the audio strap add on.