Although it was hardly cheap, when the Oculus Rift was initially announced, its $600 price tag was certainly more favorable than the HTC Vive’s $800. That price advantage may not last much longer though, especially in the U.K., where Touch controllers are slated to cost 190 pounds ($246).
One of the big reasons that the Vive (our preferred headset) was more expensive at retail than the Rift was because it included a pair of tracked motion controllers. The tracking solution itself no doubt contributed, too, but the controllers were the obvious addition that caused the two options to so be differentiated by price.
The hope with the launch of Touch was that it would come in around the $100-$150 mark, giving the Rift a price advantage over the Vive even with controllers included. While we still don’t know if that will happen here, the Brits are losing out once again on price, as with a confirmed cost (thanks RoadtoVR) of 190 pounds, which would translate to a hefty $250. On top of that, stock looks to be so light that prospective buyers are being asked to put down a 50-pound ($65) deposit.
Oculus Touch controllers to cost £190 in the UK. Crikey. pic.twitter.com/zg9JTNiCg8
— Nick Summers (@nisummers) September 20, 2016
That is even more expensive than we saw with a recent leak of the European pricing. German site MediaMarkt listed the controllers at 200 euros, which is just shy of $225. The page is down now, but VRTech managed to get a screengrab.
The launch date was slated for November 21.
If either of those prices translates over to the U.S., it would make the Rift a more expensive overall package than the HTC Vive. It may only be a few dollars, but it’s still a key factor when it comes to consumers picking which VR headset they want.
Of course Oculus’ Touch pack does come with more than just controllers. It also adds a second IR tracking camera to the mix, which improves tracking of the headset itself, and provides better coverage to make sure that the Touch controllers are never lost.
However, there have been arguments made in the past that the Vive tracking solution, with two sensors placed opposite each other, is more accurate and versatile for roomscale tracking than two Oculus Constellation cameras. Three or more cameras are usable with a Rift set-up, but those would require separate purchases, something that is not available yet.
In comparison, the Vive has a dedicated accessories page that lets you buy just about everything from spare controllers to extra trackers and nose pieces.
We’ll need to wait until the Touch controllers are released to really find out if tracking is comparable to the Vive’s solution and whether the Touch controllers are as good or better than the Vive’s wands, but it is starting to look unlikely that the Rift is going to remain the cheaper VR option in the near future.