Has the VR price war begun? HTC Vive announced today that they’re dropping the tethered VR headset’s price $200 specifically to make it more accessible to the mass market. The $599 headset comes with a Viveport subscription and digital codes for Richie’s Plank Experience, Everest VR, and Tilt Brush.
For the most part, virtual reality hardware and software developers have been focused on convincing early adopters how impactful and exciting VR is. While there are instances of businesses like UPS adopting VR, increasing exposure to casual consumers is key. For tethered VR, the highest tier for the immersive platform, price points put it largely out of reach for the casual consumer and that consumer’s household is the primary target to keep this new industry growing.
“We’ve rapidly diversified the Vive business so that when customers and businesses purchase Vive, they know they’ll benefit from a wide base of support for years to come,” says Dan O’Brien, HTC Vive US GM, in the press release for the announcement. "From constant improvements to the core Vive hardware to the industry’s first VR subscription
With this drop, analysts and enthusiasts will be watching sales like a hawk to see if the needle moves in a significant way. Other hardware manufacturers will be watching as well, likely having the difficult discussion of price for their own devices going forward. Not only does this bode well for VR gear, VR-ready PCs are becoming more accessible. The next wave of VR is also on the horizon, so stay keyed in on companies that could influence them like one aiming to increase clarity for VR headsets. The new price change is already reflected on retailers like Best Buy and Amazon.