Amidst the plethora of new smartphone announcements during this year’s Mobile World Congress, HTC has managed to mix things up with the announcement of the price for its upcoming VR headset, the HTC Vive.
The HTC Vive will be retailing for an eye opening US$799 (about RM3,360), and pre-orders will start on the 29th of February. Prior to the announcement, many gamers expected the VR headset to be priced slightly lower compared to the Oculus Rift, which has a price tag of US$599 (approximately RM2,500).
It’s worth noting that the HTC Vive is also bundled with two wireless controllers, two laser base stations called “Lighthouse” and of course, the VR headset itself. Interestingly, the VR headset will also be equipped with Bluetooth and an integrated microphone. This will allow consumers to answer calls without the need to remove the VR headset; HTC calls this feature the Vive Phone Services. The list of compatible smartphones wasn’t released during the announcement.
However, the HTC Vive has a slight advantage compared to the Oculus Rift: worldwide pre-order. Yes, according to HTC, once the pre-order window opens next Monday, consumers from all over the world will be able to pre-purchase the VR headset. The company expects the HTC Vive to be available in early April this year.
Now that the HTC vive and Oculus rift prices are known, it all comes down to performance and gaming content. Valve had recently announced its partnership with Unity Technologies to offer native SteamVR support inside the Unity game engine. This would – in theory – give the company a slight advantage against the Oculus, since developers will easily be able to create VR content for the HTC Vive.
That aside, looking at the prices of both VR headsets, it’s safe to assume that VR gaming on the PC won’t be cheap, at least for now.