The price of virtual reality is constantly coming down it seems as the room scale VR solution, the HTC Vive, has had its retail price lowered permanently.
The headset has now been permanently discounted by $200 in the U.S. to $599. In the UK the price has also been discounted to £599, which is a £90 discount from its launch price. This is the Vive's first major price cut, having only previously offered a one day discount since launch.
The bundle is no different than normal, so consumers will get the full HTC Vive virtual reality kit, complete with Vive controllers and two tracking boxes, as well as the headset. The purchase also comes with a trail for the Viveport Subscription service which gives users 5 games per month to try out.
The HTC Vive is often considered to be the best of the three main gaming headsets from a technical standpoint. The Oculus Rift, which also saw a recent temporary price drop to $399/£399 for the complete bundle has been the closest competitor in technical ability, but the Sony PlayStation VR has been the most commercially successful at its £350 price point, despite limitations and additional cost for hardware to use it. The most successful VR headset at present is still the mobile-based Samsung Gear VR.
The Vive has, according to Steam statistics provided in the press release, the biggest VR user base on Steam and will have two major triple-A games due this year with Bethesda's Doom VFR and Fallout 4 VR. It's worth pointing out that Doom VFR is also available for pre-order on the PlayStation Store but with no definitive release date.
“Since launching last year, we have been rapidly growing our ecosystem and expanding our retail footprint across Europe, to continue to reach new audiences with Vive,” said HTC Vive's general manager for Europe, Paul Brown. “Reducing the price of Vive during a key purchasing season we believe will significantly boost VR adoption to bring in even more consumers and content creators to Vive. We’re focused on delivering both great value together with the best VR experience on the market and we’re excited to lead the way in bringing VR to the mainstream.”