Not long after the Oculus Rift received a hefty price reduction in July, HTC is now permanently dropping the price of its Vive VR headset by $200, down to $599. While still at a higher price point compared to its main competitor, the HTC Vive bundle includes the head-mounted display, two controllers, and the SteamVR room-scale tracking technology out of the box, making it an attractive deal for prospective buyers looking for the complete VR experience.
The bundle contains a couple of VR applications such as Google Tilt Brush, which allows users to create 3D models in virtual space using motion controllers, and also included in the package are the Everest VR and Richie's Plank Experience. Additionally, the HTC Vive bundle includes one free month of access to the Viveport app store introduced in early 2017. For added context, the Oculus Rift is now priced at $499 (although it is currently available for $399 for a limited-time), however, the retail package does not include room-scale technology out of the box which can only be acquired separately by purchasing additional room-scale sensors. The permanent price drop is said to be a competitive move and has no relation to the current sales figures of the Vive HMD or the fact that the company is working on new Vive hardware, according to the Taiwanese original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Then again, it's worth reminding that earlier this year, HTC said it has no intentions of dropping the original $799 price of the Vive headset due to the fact that the company was satisfied with its commercial performance despite its relatively high price tag.
The HTC Vive was first unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 and development kits were launched later that year. The first version designed for the global consumer market was released in April 2016 for the price of $799 and the product maintained its original launch price until today. Prospective buyers should be aware that the HTC Vive is not a standalone head-mounted display and requires a fairly powerful computer. However, unlike last year when SteamVR was compatible only with machines running Microsoft Windows OS, the platform is now compatible with both Linux and MacOS.