HTC Vive Pre-Orders Open From February 29

The chief executive of the mobile phone manufacturer has confirmed overnight that pre-orders for the Vive, HTC's collaboration with Valve into the world of virtual reality, will open from the end of next month.

The date was reported by British newspaper The Telegraph, which received the information directly from HTC CEO Cher Wang in a new interview. Wang also announced that a number of PC manufacturers, including Hewlett-Packard and Asus, would be releasing laptops and computers built for virtual reality over the next few months.

The latter is crucial given how few PCs are currently compatible with the high-end requirements for VR. Some users were already planning on upgrading their hardware to accommodate for VR, but since the pre-order price for the first generation of the consumer Rift was announced many have been pushed out of VR entirely or forced to choose between a new headset or new hardware.

HTC's Wang did not reveal any details on pricing in the interview, but she added that the company was refocusing on virtual reality instead of the smartphone market. "Yes, smartphones are important, but to create a natural extension to other connected devices like wearables and virtual reality is more important," Wang is quoted as saying.

[The Telegraph]


Comments

    Dear HTC and Valve. Learn from Oculus' mistakes. Announce the price beforehand so people don't get "price shock" and don't ship with the most expensive courier company on the planet.

    Keen to see what the price will be. After the response to the Rift price I think they'll do whatever it takes to undercut them by a reasonable amount.

    Better start saving those pennies for a new PC.

      I think you'll be disappointed if you think it'll be much cheaper. HTC has area tracking as well with the front facing camera. I'd expect it to be more expensive based on the hardware alone. If they manage to sell it at the same price I'd be impressed.

    Vive can just charge the same amount but include the touch controllers and that will be enough to win people over.

    Better yet include half life 3 with all preorders and bam best selling vr in history.

    All you guys (Oculus/ HTC) are doing it wrong, IMHO. You need to take a page out of the console manufacturers and/or Apple.

    You should have a media event (doesn't even have to be a live show) where you demonstrate what went into your product, what benefits/features we get from that and the content we should be looking forward to. The fancier the better.

    Right now, from what I've seen, we have to go out of our way to find out whats good about your product (from third parties such as Tested), then you drop the price like a bomb somewhere around midnight.

    You must yourselves make a convincing argument to the general public before you announce the price tag.

    Please don't pretend that the "price tag" and "marketing" aren't part of a commercial product. They are as important as anything else that went into it.

    Last edited 12/01/16 10:12 am

    If something’s even $600, it doesn’t matter how good it, how great an experience it is if they just can’t afford it, then it really might as well not exist. Palmer Luckey 2013

    I'll make an exception if it is $600 with the controllers :)

      That's in USD.

        I'm still okay with that. USD$600 for the headset and contollers would be at my upper-upper-end, but I could save up for that.
        I'd prefer it to be $500 AUD, but it isn't gonna happen after Oculus came out at around USD$780 with shipping and without the controllers for Aussie buyers.

        I think Palmer was right, and he has lost the reason he was doing it in the first place.
        Decent VR at $350 or so would go gangbusters, and premium VR solutions could develop from there.
        Making a 'premium' VR solution your initial release and pricing it at exactly the price he thought was too much for it to be accessible... that just shows what happens when you are suddenly flooded with money, you lose your perspective. (Shipping it in a pelican-style custom case, packing in an unwanted game, premium shipping costs etc. fine for a premium product, un-necessary for the product that was going to make VR affordable)

        Hopefully HTC can release the product in a more affordable way, but I think by setting the bar for pricing, Oculus has killed the market, there is no pressure to bring a sub $500 product out now.

        Last edited 12/01/16 10:55 am

          The rift could've had a lower price tag. I got an email yesterday showing a case of the headset with an Xbox one controller and read that it had headphones.

          As a gamer I already have other things I just wanted a VR headset. Nothing else. Why do I have to pay a little more for something I already have. They could've lowered the price by a little, just remove the unwanted/unnecessary parts. It's kinda like buying a graphics card, you only get the graphics card and that's what you pay for.

            Exactly, they lost the whole focus of what the Rift was meant to be. A 'good' VR experience at an affordable price. I can see the argument both ways, especially for making a 'single' platform (i.e. a controller and audio solution the same for all = a bit easier for developers), but as Palmer himself said, there is no point making it if you price it out of people's reach, and they ended up doing exactly that :(
            If it came packaged like a graphics card, they probably could have found a way to cut $100 from the price (no games, no controller, cardboard box, no headphones plus the design savings) and it may have brought it back to the "I'll just get one" price for a much larger group of people.
            I think over $500 in any currency makes people think twice/have to justify the purchase much more than a sub $500 price.

              I agree, however I'd say $600 is as affordable as the headset Oculus made could be. They've said they're still selling at a loss. (I assume the FB ownership allows them to do this) Whilst Oculus haven't provided details on the components, they've said that some of the components are very high end, so I'm not surprised at the price.

              Also headphones/controller barely contribute to the price...as they've said. You might've got it $20 cheaper without. But for $20, getting an Xbox controller and headphones that are very solid, I'd say that's worth it. Also the headphones are optimised for the 3D experiences or something (Don't ask me, I just read the reddit AMA), so they'll be better than what most people have anyway.

                i was surprised by the cost but i would actually rather that it launches expensive and does everything it needs to rather than launch cheap but people would complain that it wasnt finished or something.

                i am happy for it to be awesome but just out of my reach. it can be something i save up for and am happy with when i finally get it.

                plus as far as i can tell it doesn't matter how good or expensive/cheap it is as there will still be nothing to play on it in the immediate future

                  Yeah, also it's better than most of the alternative pricing structures. Theoretically, they could have sold the headset for $300 US, but then made all the games they sell for it twice as expensive. I'd much rather have a high outright cost, and then lower prices for games than the opposite.

                  And yeah, it's early tech anyway. You buy it now to show to your friends and try out the things that are available. If people are buying now expecting a fleshed out platform I expect they'll be disappointed. That being said, Palmer Luckey has said that they'll have around 100 titles by the end of 2016. Most would be small experiences I expect.

                If the DK2 was $350, and it was supposedly sold at cost, then they could have made a very good VR HMD for $450, or even $499.

                I'm not arguing that the $600 is basically at cost, but that they took the wrong approach, and could have designed a very good VR headset that cost $499 to make, and had considerably more market penetration.
                The stated goal of Oculus pre the FB buyout was to make it super affordable,Palmer himself stated that $600 was pointless as it means only the hard core could buy it. Then when the backlash about the FB buyout hit, Palmer stated that the FB buyout was great news as it would allow them substantially reduce the cost of the Rift.
                That goal got lost sight of, then abandoned, and it is such a shame.

                  Interesting stuff. I think the acquisition by FB allowed Oculus to sell the HMD's at cost. (I assume if this had not occurred, Oculus would have had to sell them at least at breakeven price)

                  It all comes down to the perceived necessary specs. In Luckey's opinion, the HMD's they created were of the minimum acceptable performance/quality required to start the VR space. i.e, anything less and the headset wouldn't be perceived to be a good piece of tech. Obviously other companies (HTC, Sony) will have HMD's of varying quality and performance.

                  A few quotes from Palmer Luckey

                  Regarding the Headset included in Oculus Rift CV1: "They are open-back drivers with pretty accurate response and a great soundstage. Somewhat similar to ATH-AD700s."

                  Regarding the packaging of Headset & controller: "The Xbox controller costs us almost nothing to bundle, and people can easily resell it for profit. A lot of people wish we would sell a bundle without “useless extras” like high-end audio, a carrying case, the bundled games, etc, but those just don’t significantly impact the cost."

                  Regarding what I mentioned earlier about the quality of the product: "We could have shipped something along the lines of DK2, but I really don't think it would have been good enough to kickstart the consumer VR industry, especially in the long run. It would also cost more than people think - Shipping a real consumer product is more complex than janking out a dev kit, even something nearly identical to DK2 would have ended up costing $400+"

                  Also note with that last one, $400+ US is still gonna be like $800 AU. At that point, might as well pay another $400 AU for a vastly superior product.

                  Edit: Grammar.

                  Last edited 12/01/16 7:44 pm

                The headphones are probably very very good. But HRTF audio (first introduced with PSVR and later Oculus) will work with any headset.

                It works because the system knows your head orientation (therefore your ear orientation assuming you are human). The target Palmer was going for by including speakers in, is to have that fixed spec developers can tune to.

                Having it be removable though, sort of defeats the purpose.

                Edit:
                IMO, Palmer did the right thing by including the entire system (controller/ camera / HMD /speakers). Because some (idiots) do have more expensive headsets that won't do as good of a job.

                Some will also try to subvert VR into a KB+Mouse approach, which can be very hard on developers, and is the reason for the XB Controller.

                Last edited 12/01/16 2:39 pm

            Oculus have said that the Xbox Controller and Headphones do not make any significant price increase. I expect they cost like $20 combined to package in..... So yeah, could be a lower price tag, but not like, $100 cheaper, like I expect you're thinking. Also the headphones included will be optimised for the 3D audio in the headset, so chances are they'll be better than what you have anyway.

              I don't think they can have it both ways, if the headphones, flash carrying case, games and xbox controller cost 'effectively nothing', then you would expect the other parts of the rift to end up somewhat cheaper. At any rate, it is not $600 for anyone, it is a minimum of $630 for Americans and USD$780 for Australians. I can't see that the DK2 could me made and sold for $350, and that they couldn't have come out with an improved model for $499 which would be an almost 50% price hike over the DK2.

      Yes. Also don't ask us to pay $130.00 for international shipping on top, as if they are running the whole show from garage somewhere. This is Dev KIT mentality.

        Except Dev Kit mentality was SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper...

    Since there was a massive backlash on the final Oculus price, HTC can go two ways with this. They can use that backlash to their advantage and become the white knight by setting a much more reasonable and affordable price point (and more importantly worldwide release, not just from US), OR they can be dicks about it and use OR's price point as "the standard" entry price for VR and set theirs at the same price because "there's no cheaper competition". I'm hoping they don't corporate out on us and give a reasonable price.

    At the moment I'm more interested in Playstation VR. Yes, I'm aware that it's going to run at a lower resolution to the Occulus and Vive but it seems like it's going to be a reasonable option that might have more market appeal. This is boosted by the fact that aside from the PS4 you aren't going to need to purchase additional hardware (yes I'm aware it will require a kind of "booster box" but that will ship with the headset). They haven't announced a price yet of course but if I'd wager a guess, because of its lower specs and requirements it'll probably be a reasonable amount cheaper, and perhaps be more readily available at retail.

    Last edited 12/01/16 10:49 am

      I agree, and if the VR games and experiences are coded with the limitations in mind, they will still be a proper VR experience. Having less characters in the game, or forgoing waving blades of grass etc. and making experiences that really shine in VR could easily happen within the Playstation's performance envelope with good game design. I really hope they can bring it in at a good price-point, it is the only way I think VR will get enough traction for developers to have a chance of making any money and wanting to support VR gaming.

      They will play to their strengths. But they can also mess it up, if they force us to buy PS Camera+ Move again* by bundling them in with PSVR. They will sell less units if they do.

      I'm all but sure that PSVR will sell the most units. I will also surely buy one even if I buy one of the others. It will just have more dev support, and I expect the quality to be less but I think it will exceed expectations by a large margin.

      They can also support the hardware very well, given they will only have one solid configuration. They may also NOT introduce another version soon after the next year, so it's an easy decision.

      I also don't expect them to reveal the price at the point of purchase, I think they will be a little more classy.

      But, I think PSVR needs PCVR to succeed and vice versa. For this reason, I think Sony won't release PSVR until PCVR is somewhat established.

      Last edited 12/01/16 11:26 am

        You'll definitely need to a PS camera, that's how the tracking will occur....as for move I don't know. I expect if you need them they'll package them in. DS4's have a light bar too though, so I assume that means that they'll be compatible with some games at least.

          Yeah
          (force us to buy PS Camera+ Move again*).

          But I like so many other people already own these peripherals (PS Camera, Move) and also they are incredibly cheap (pre-owned) at EB Games.

          Edit: I hated it when they released Move with PS EYE, I had left overs!

          Last edited 12/01/16 1:32 pm

            lol. I don't own any PS move, or the PS camera. I do see the move at EB every now and then. PS Camera's they'll probably just sell separately, as they can get $90 off people who buy it at RRP.

              If they are going to include PS Move, I'd like that to be a redesigned controller with analogue sticks and bigger more tactile face buttons. Packaging the old version of PS Move in there is a wasted opportunity.

              Last edited 12/01/16 2:01 pm

    Hopefully this will be cheaper then oculus.
    This could be make or break for vr.

    It's interesting to see what HTC will do here about their price.
    HTC is a company that has been badly bruised from it's phone making operations, so they need to claw back cash where possible, but they find themselves in a special position to undercut Oculus and capture a lot of the market. Decisions decisions...

    HTC's exterior design is far sexier too, therefore giving off the impression that it is technologically superior to the Rift, eye of the beholder pending.

    I will let all you guys buy one, and comment about the screendoor effect. Think this will be real off setting for a 4K gamer myself...

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