Today brought news that the HTC Vive will be dropping in price from $799 down to $599, slashing $200 off the cost of the SteamVR headset. It’s a tempting offer, though you might worry that your purchase will soon be outdated by a new version of the headset. HTC says that won’t be happening this year.
The company confirmed as much to UploadVR following the announcement earlier today. Patrick Seybold, Vice President of Communications told us that there would be no new PC-based Vive coming this year. In this morning’s announcement, Dan O’Brien, General Manager for HTC Vive in the Americas, had assured that the cut was “not to clear inventory or set the stage for something else,” but now we know for sure there won’t be a hardware update in 2017.
We can’t speak for 2018 and beyond, of course. HTC is likely to release a successor to the Vive, updating core features at some point down the road but the company isn’t offering any hints as to when that might be.
That said, the Vive isn’t destined to be the only VR headset to use SteamVR tracking technology; we’ve already seen an early prototype of LG’s own headset that uses Valve’s platform, and there are likely others in the works too. When these devices will launch, how much they will cost and how they’ll stack up to the Vive are three key questions to consider, especially with SteamVR’s updated base stations and Knuckles controllers on the horizon. It could be that a competitor launches a superior headset with these new additions in the near future.
While there won’t be a new PC-based Vive this year, don’t forget that HTC will be releasing a standalone Vive headset that doesn’t require a PC or mobile phone and utilizes Google’s Daydream platform. That’s expected to hit at some point within the last four months of 2017. The standalone looks like it will run mobile VR software, however, and differ considerably in capabilities from its PC-based counterpart.