While the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset has been treated with a hefty $200 discount earlier this week during Game Developers Conference (GDC), HTC’s Vive branch doesn’t seem to have any plans to follow in its competitor’s footsteps. In a recent statement, Vive spokesman Patrick Seybold revealed that the company doesn’t feel under pressure to discount the HTC Vive as the Taiwanese tech giant is apparently satisfied with the traction that Vive is currently gaining.
The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets are currently the only two premium products on the market and both devices have been competing among themselves since launching last year. The Oculus Rift recently got the upper hand over its rival thanks to a noteworthy $200 discount that was evenly split between the headset and its Touch controllers. The HTC Vive is apparently sticking to its $799 price tag, meaning the device is now $200 more expensive than the Oculus Rift. Given HTC's latest statement, that situation won't change in the foreseeable future.
The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets are fairly similar in terms of performance, but the VR experience provided by both has been arguably different due to a variety of factors. Namely, the Oculus Rift initially didn’t ship with motion controllers while the HTC Vive did. The motion controllers and HTC Vive’s room-scale technology gave the headset the upper hand through the majority of last year, but the Oculus Rift eventually caught up and launched its own Touch controllers last December, while enabling room-scale experiences with the Oculus Sensor. Meanwhile, the Sony PlayStation VR seems to enjoy a lot of popularity as a more budget-friendly VR headset which only requires the PlayStation 4 instead of a significantly more expensive computer capable of high-end VR gaming. The PlayStation VR’s rise in popularity may have also persuaded Oculus to drop the price of its Oculus Rift headset, but once again, it appears that HTC is confident it has a superior product and will continue retailing it with a premium price tag. It remains to be seen whether that ends up being a wise move in the long term, but as things stand right now, don't expect the Vive to drop in price anytime soon.