HTC expands Vive availability in the US

Ben Parfitt
HTC expands Vive availability in the US

Consumers are now able to buy the HTV Vive at more US retailers than ever before.

The company has announced a large online retail expansion” that sees the virtual reality hardware become available from BestBuy.com, Walmart.com, Jet.com and B&H.

These retailers mark a massive expansion of our online retail presence and are a testament to VR's march toward the broader consumer market,” HTC Vive's US GM Dan O'Brien said.

Interest in VR and Vive continues to grow. Paired with recent news with Apple, Google and Intel, we're seeing major retailers and direct-to-consumer companies endorse Vive as the premier VR experience.”

HTC is also giving away a free copy of Star Trek Bridge Crew to all those who buy a Vive headset. As an ongoing promotion, buyers also get copies of Everest VR and Richie's Plank Experience, as well as a free one month Viveport subscription.

These moves come as Oculus Rift continues to outprice its rival following March's RRP cut.

The Rift headset itself has been cut from $599 to $499, while the Touch controllers have been halved in price to $99 for the pair. This means that the Rift, two controllers and two camera now costs $598 – that's a $200 saving.

Most importantly, however, it's also $200 cheaper that the $799 HTC Vive.

There are a few caveats, of course. If you want to try and set up a Vive-like room scale experience with Rift you'll need a third camera, although they too have been reduced, down from $79 to $59. Note too that Rift has been having a few issues with its room scale setups, which are still flagged as experimental on the site. Recent updates to the hardware are said to have improved the situation for many, however.

HTC has subsequently said it has no plans to match these reductions, adding:We don't feel the need to cut the price of Vive, as we've had incredible success, and continue to see great momentum in market. We've built a strong ecosystem made up of Viveport, Vive X, Vive Tracker and Vive Studios, and remain laser focused and are not changing our strategy of delivering the best and most comprehensive VR product to both developers and consumers.”

HTC last month unveiled a 35 finance deal for new Vive buyers.

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