Virtual reality fans are still divided over the recently announced Oculus Rift price, and if recent rumors are later confirmed, they might be in for more bad news in the near future if the rumored price of the HTC Vive VR turns out to be true.
Focus Taiwan claims that the HTC Vive VR will cost $1,500 at launch, citing foreign brokerages estimates. That would be more than double the cost of the Oculus Rift, and much more than the Gear VR even with the Galaxy Note 5/Galaxy S6 costs included.
The advanced spatial recognition and wireless controller apparently raises the markup of the Vive VR quite substantially, which is odd considering the Oculus Rift has spatial awareness, a remote, and an Xbox One controller bundled. The Vive VR also shares the same resolution display as the Rift, though we don’t know if they’re from the same display manufacturer.
It is worth noting that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey said in a Reddit AMA that each Rift is sold at a loss, which might explain the cost differential between the Rift and HTC’s device. Unlike Oculus, which is owned by Facebook, HTC cannot sell each unit at a loss, due to its poor financial situation.
Even so, an extra $900 for a wireless remote does seem fishy, making us wonder if the report meant to say $1,500 for the HTC Vive VR and PC required to run the software. If that was the case, we may be able to justify the price, but $1,500 for the headset alone sounds stupidly overpriced.
That said, the Oculus Rift is the first true virtual reality headset that offers a ton of unique sensors and high-end equipment. Comparing every VR headset to the Oculus Rift might be the wrong way to look at the costs of virtual reality, especially if it turns out Oculus is losing hundreds of dollars with each sale.
Valve has not said anything about subsidizing the cost of the Vive VR. It didn’t subsidize the price for the Steam Machines, which has led to most people quickly forgetting about them, and has a rather passive attitude towards hardware and third-party providers.
We will no doubt hear more about the HTC Vive VR price and features in the coming months. The headset opens for pre-orders on February 29, and rumors suggest it will be shipping in mid-April.