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HTC Vive Priced at $799, Pre-Orders Begin February 29

The package will include the headset, two controllers, positional sensors, and two games: Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption.

Even though I enjoyed using them, I'm still not in love with the design of the Vive's
Even though I enjoyed using them, I'm still not in love with the design of the Vive's "wand" controllers.

After months of speculation from both fans and press, HTC has announced pricing details for the Vive, the VR platform that the company has been co-developing with Valve. Available for pre-order on February 29, the Vive will be sold for $799, and will come with the VR headset, two wireless controllers, wall-mounted movement sensors, and two games: Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption. The Vive is scheduled to ship in April.

This is the second of the major, gaming-focused VR headsets to receive pricing details. The Vive's chief competitor, the Oculus Rift, started accepting pre-orders for $599 on January 6, and will begin shipping in waves starting in March. Sony has yet to announce a price for its competing PlayStation VR headset, but early estimates suggest that it will be the most affordable of the three platforms.

This announcement came out of this week's Mobile World Congress, which is where HTC and Valve first debuted the device just one year ago. HTC also used the conference as an opportunity to announce Vive Phone Services:

The consumer edition of Vive also integrates phone functionality. Enabling you to stay connected to the real world, without exiting the virtual world, Vive Phone Services demonstrates the ability to combine both realities without losing touch of either. By allowing you to receive and respond to both incoming and missed calls, get text messages and send quick replies and check upcoming calendar invites directly through the headset, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for both consumers and businesses.

It’s a simple idea, but it’s a forward-facing gesture nonetheless. So much of the conversation around VR circles back around to the notion of the VR user blocked off from the outside world, so it's nice to see a developer try to address that. It also highlights the Vive's new built-in microphone, which is only one of the device's recent hardware improvements. At last month's CES, HTC also announced that the Vive will also have a camera that allows for augmented reality features, but that news was easy to miss in all of the conversation about the Rift's price.

Though the Vive package is priced higher than the Rift, it's also well under some recent estimates--one rumor even suggested that the final package would come out to $1500. Given that the Vive comes with positional sensors and two of its "wand" controllers (and given that the Oculus Touch controller doesn't have a release date or price yet), it's a fairly competitive move. That's not to say that $799 isn't prohibitively expensive for many consumers, especially those who need to build a PC that meets the Vive's requirements.

I'll definitely be waiting for these prices to drop before diving in on either the Vive or Rift, but I'm still pretty excited to see how things shake out over the next couple of years. My (limited) experience with VR has been really positive so far, even when it's broken down. Though I'm skeptical of "It will change everything"-style predictions, I'm also sincerely excited by the potential of VR. Here's hoping that my excitement isn't totally misplaced.

156 Comments

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SnowyPliskin

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Pretty reasonable.

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jambowned

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That's actually a bit lower than I was expecting.

Will still be shocking to some.

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Ganonmaster

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Steep, but that's the early adopter tax. I'll wait.

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rvancetal

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So this is what 80 more than the Rift with its Touch Controllers assuming a pair of those is a 120.

I can justify a console launch price because those by necessity add value over time, but for a untested in the public Peripheral I am way more cautious and have no problem waiting. Plus there is still whatever Sony decides to do now that everyone else has waded in before them.

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OMGFather

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Job Simulator? Who's gonna be crazy enough to play that?

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fisk0

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fisk0  Moderator

The Vive system requirements makes me even more confused about why the Rift needs four USB ports (one of which has to be USB 3). The Vive apparently suffices with one USB 2.0 port?

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DonPixel

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Edited By DonPixel
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Yerolo

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Price is expected to be honest. Those thinking it would be lower priced than the Oculus were space crazy. Stil, At that price, I'll sit on the sidelines

The VR ball is in your court Sony

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AvaVII

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@omgfather: Until this day it still is my favorite VR experience by a long shot. Owlchemy Labs are using the hardware to the fullest and even despite the comic-like graphics your "kitchen" feels real incredibly quick. It's quite scary to be honest.

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metalsnakezero

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Edited By metalsnakezero

From the looks of it Vive is high end VR, Oculus would be the mid tier, and Sony will be entry of VR. In a way it makes VR first few years to be interesting from who able to enter into it.

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Shaunage

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Way cheaper than expected, and still prohibitively expensive. Nope.

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Seiru

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@fisk0: The Rift has an IR camera that needs USB, which would be +1 port. Other than that difference, I'm not sure.

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hassun

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Cheaper than I expected. This is pretty damn close to the Oculus if you include the Oculus Touch.

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supapuerco

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@fisk0: It actually needs two USB 3.0 ports – the reason is because the cameras that do the positional tracking need a lot of bandwidth and connect to the computer. (I think they are reserving ports to make sure people can use Oculus Touch as well when it ships.) The Vive's Lighthouse tracking system doesn't connect to the computer.

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UracilHokeNut

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It feels like people are generally happy about the price of the Vive now that Oculus has already announced their price, but I can't help but feel like if the Vive price had come out first, people would have brought out the torches and pitchforks.

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triumvir

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Edited By triumvir

Cheaper than expected. Given the pricing of the Rift and the fact that Vive appears to be a superior product according to many folks, this is probably the one I'd go with, if I had money and interest enough to early adopt a VR headset.

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Levio

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I'm gonna make my purchasing decision regarding VR once the new AMD and nVidia graphics cards come out this year. Rumor is that the 2016 cards for both companies are going to be pretty big upgrades.

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journeys

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I look forward to hearing all of you tell me how amazing it is. Can't wait to see a game that I really want to play and willing to invest that kind of money. Till then I will live vicariously thru you early adopters.

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iboshow

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@uracilhokenut: people complained about the rift because Palmer Luckey hinted that the rift would cost around $350.

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Jpope

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How big a space would I have to setup to make a cozy VR center for 2-3 people?

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kcp12

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Edited By kcp12

Forget including Job Simulator. How about another Job just so people can afford this thing.

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kill_la_kill

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Edited By kill_la_kill

The Samsung Galaxy S7 was announced and if you pre-order it, you get a free Gear VR. I wonder how it's performance will rank compared to dedicated VR Rigs / Decks?

http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/21/samsungs-galaxy-s7-arrives-march-11th/

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newmoneytrash

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@uracilhokenut: yeah the kind of blade acceptance of this price vs the anger of the oculus announcement is kinda strange

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redking56

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Edited By redking56

I, for one, cannot wait to come home from work and play Job Simulator.

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mike

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Edited By mike

@kill_la_kill said:

The Samsung Galaxy S7 was announced and if you pre-order it, you get a free Gear VR. I wonder how it's performance will rank compared to dedicated VR Rigs / Decks?

http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/21/samsungs-galaxy-s7-arrives-march-11th/

Gear VR is a different type of device than the Oculus Rift or Vive. Not only is it meant to work with phones, but it still doesn't have positional head tracking, not to mention 3D controllers.

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jcracken

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I dunno, $800 for HTC seems a bit overpriced. All of the good designers left already so all you'd get is a mediocre random tech division saddled with a poor performing smartphone division. Maybe at $500.

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climax

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Under a $1K? That was unexpected for me. Still not planning to get it since I don't have the space to put it together. Would like to see it get set up by the GB squad, but understandable if they pass for whatever reason.

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chaser324

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Edited By chaser324  Moderator

$800 is roughly what I expected, perhaps even a bit lower than what I thought it might be. I'm probably going to skip out on this first generation of VR, but I think I would opt for the HTC Vive if I were going to jump in. The Vive seems like it should be capable of everything that the Oculus can do on top of also having the 3D controllers from day one, the "room scale" stuff, and the front facing camera. Also, keep in mind that once those Oculus touch controllers are released, the total price gap will probably be reduced a lot.

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Colonel_Pockets

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Hmmmm, I assumed this would be around $1,000. Given that I don't have a PC, this doesn't really move needle on whether I was going to buy one.

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Erunamo

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@supapuerco: Just for the sake of completion, the full requirements they list (anticipating Touch as you said) is 3x USB3.0 ports + 1x USB2.0 port. The latter is for the bundled XBone controller. The others are for Rift & camera sensor (2 ports) plus a second camera (1 port) for using Touch controllers.

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Zabant

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Edited By Zabant

When you can get a decent 50 inch 4KTV for 100$ cheaper than a VIVE, well...you have to ask which do you think you'd get more value & use out of?

VR is going to remain a high end niche for a few years it seems.

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Dragon_Puncher

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To be expected, but still a pretty crazy price. If Sony is able to target around $400, they might actually have chance of leading the VR marked.

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bjorno

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Edited By bjorno

you could buy a geo metro for that money!!!

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szlifier

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I wonder what the price for Europe will be. That's the thing where Oculus fucked up. I would gladly pay $599 for Oculus, but 700 Euros + shipping and customs ends up in $1000 range.

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mellotronrules

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the price is more or less what i expected.

sure, all of this looks expensive- but first-run hardware almost always is (see: apple products, electric cars, and early mp3 players). my bigger concern are the various VR ecosystems that will soon be competing for a relatively small userbase. between facebook's oculus, samsung's gear, sony's playstation VR, google's thing, apple's thing, and valve/htc's vive- it's going to be NECESSARY for these platforms to play nice together...and i know some promised they will. but they really NEED to.

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gablekevin

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Shouldn't the title read HTC Vive instead of just HTC it seems like we are buying HTC the company for the low low price of $799

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Jorbit

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@austin_walker I think I heard the wands were redesigned. If that's true, have you tried them since then?

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teekomeeko

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Huh, not bad at all. I'd have to upgrade motherboards for the Oculus, so the Vive ends up at practically an identical price since I'm already at / above spec for that. I'll still wait until late 2016 for either to see what early software lineups are like.

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JamesFargoth

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Valve/HTC seems to understand that we still need to have access to the world around us. People with kids, hungry people, or those with motion sickness need the ability to part the kimono and see the world at moments notice. Being able to text while being on a planet in another dimension is going to be weird and awesome.

Sidebar: I wonder if we will ever see VR operating systems. Virtual Office/House. I want tangible virtual folders, the calendar app is on the wall, in the corner is my desk with a monitor on it with a normal version of Windows running. Actual wallpaper. What's that paperclip like sound coming from the bedroom? It's clippy and he wants to tell you what a bad job you did decorating!

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EricSmith

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@levio: Same here. Even though I upgraded fully with a $1100 machine in Fall 2013, my PC is not VR ready. The new cards are gonna be big for me.

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EthanielRain

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Edited By EthanielRain

I look forward to VR - five years from now when it's cheaper and has some cool stuff to check out.

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AV_Gamer

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No thanks. Not paying 800 bones for a soon to be failed gimmick called VR.

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Substance_D

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Already pre-ordered the Oculus. As much as I love Valve, I don't see the Vive sticking around for more than a few years. It's being developed by a company that is more or less bankrupt and has junk stocks. Sure, they might be able to find another company, but Valve has a history of abandoning things if they don't make money.

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kickahaota

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Much lower than I expected. Not buying, largely because my eyes aren't that VR-ready, but still.

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killergoalie

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@rvancetal: Is 120 a confirmed price for the Rift controllers?

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amafi

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Hopefully Norway is one of the 24 countries with preorders, because I've been waiting for this since dactyl nightmare and I already got my 980ti ready.

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Dussck

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Even though I enjoyed using them, I'm still not in love with the design of the Vive's "wand" controllers.

Good thing you don't see them then when you are wearing the headset :p

Price is steep, but after the Occulus I'd expected it to be even higher.

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NeoZeon

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This whole "It's first gen tech, of course it's going to be a bit pricey" thing needs to stop. I could be on board with that if the pre-ordered items you received were all you needed, but they clearly are not. I haven't seen a single collection of replies, on GB or otherwise, that makes no mention of needing to upgrade just to use these headsets.

I know, people love shiny new things because humans are all easily impressed at heart, but we're talking hundreds if not thousands of dollars on top of the VR gear itself just to use it. That's insane. My computer isn't even that damn old and the idea that it requires a complete overhaul just so I can look like I slapped a black Virtual Boy on my head doesn't exactly sound like a selling point to me.

At this point, the only VR I would even consider is the Sony version and who the hell knows what that thing will actually cost in the long run. These things reek of 3D television to me: Too much marketing, too much money, not enough proof of concept.

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Onemanarmyy

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@gablekevin: I'm with you, the title should say HTC Vive.