This is only the beginning, VRm I right?
Not unlike an arms race, the VR price war has only begun. Who has the best Equipment? Early this Summer, Oculus had a massive sale on their device, the Oculus Rift, ending in a permanent price drop. HTC is now following suit, cutting out the sale, dropping the price altogether on their Vive Head-Mounted Display.
Yesterday, The HTC Vive took a hefty slash in price, dropping from their $799 price tag, down to $599. This comes as no surprise after the Oculus Rift dropped down to $399 earlier this Summer on sale. At the end of the sale, the price raised back up to $499 as the final price, $100 less than previous to the sale.
The HTC Vive comes with plenty of their worth for the price, too. Along with the head-mounted display, accessories include two wireless controllers, two bases stations, comfort-related materials, and everything purchasers need to get going (cords, etc.). Additionally, the system comes with Google Tilt Brush, Everest VR, and Richie’s Plank Experience as promotional content, as well as one-month subscription to Viveport.
Vive's Giving Away Some Free Content For New Owners
As a breakdown of the free content, purchasers of the Vive get $53 of extra content from the promotional pack. Google Tilt Brush ($19.99 retail value) gives artists a full 360-degree canvas to paint massive murals and masterpieces. Everest VR ($14.99 retail value) allows people to climb Mount Everest in first-person, without the fear of dying from hypothermia. Richie’s Plank Experience is a starter “game” for new VR players, teaching balance using VR, as well as giving a couple extra modes like a sky-writing experience.
But, that’s not all! Purchasers of the $600 system also get a free 1-month subscription to Viveport, HTC’s subscription service, valued at the incredibly pricey $6.99. Subscribers can choose five games/experiences to try out during their subscription period, with five more for each additional subscribed month. The list to choose from includes some amazing titles like ROM: Extraction, which has players shooting robots in a space station. But, people should research their potential options to maximise their potential. For instance, players can also choose the (somehow) award winning title, BUTTS: The VR Experience, which may or may not push virtual reality to its foremost limits (spoiler: it doesn’t).
But, What About Me And You?
The question to ask is “What does this mean for potential VR buyers?” Well, the war is in motion here, showing both of these price drops. Virtual Reality enthusiasts and companies are pushing that VR is the future. With this price drop, the Vive finally becomes more affordable to the masses, as well as the even more affordable Oculus Rift. But, alas, other companies are starting to get in on the game, as well.
Some people just want entertainment instead of gaming. Artists want whitespace to create. Experiences can be strapped to a face for cheap. Google, the folks that bring the Daydream to the VR market, is pushing their own boundaries by teaming up with HTC and Lenovo for cost-effective standalone experiences. Microsoft’s HoloLens will take users into augmented reality, albeit from a much higher price. VRotica, an erotica-enabled standalone HMD device already on the market, costs a fraction of the price of other HMDs.
Essentially, VR is getting cheaper. For those that have a device already, awesome. The experiences are unlike anything ever before. For potential buyers, as with all technology in history, VR is getting cheaper all the time. Thousands of games and experiences inhabit the SteamVR storefront and respective virtual shops.
“VR Ready” Computers are coming down in price as well, eventually making the idea a non-issue. But, the average joe still has to fork out some cash for a game-capable machine, because cheap computers still can’t handle it. VR, at the moment, is for the elite, but it won’t be for too much longer.
Is it the perfect time to grab a now $599 Vive, a recently dropped $499 Rift, or should buyers wait it out for even better prices and devices later?