If You Hated The Rift's Australian Price, You Should See The HTC Vive

If you thought the Oculus Rift was having a laugh for what they were asking Australian consumers to fork out, you're going to have a hearty laugh at the Rift's local offer.

We reached out to HTC's internal and external PR for confirmation when the US pre-order price was announced last week. People seemed to be pretty happy: it was a more complete package than the Rift, and came in at roughly the same price.

Except that's not quite what Australians will be paying.

In a post on HTC's official blog, the pre-order price for Australians is US$899, although as a sweetener the pre-order bundle now comes with Google's Tilt Brush. That's a tool designed for painting a 3D space while in virtual reality. Google actually purchased the maker of Tilt Brush — Skillman & Hackett — last year, and it seems pretty cool.

Here's what it looks like in practice.

But back to the Vive: US$899. And just like the Rift, you'll have to pay even more if you're a New Zealander: US$949.

So at the minimum, that's $1262.65 dollarydoos at the current exchange rate. Fortunately, the price does include shipping which is nice. And you'll get the Vive reasonably early. Shipping begins April 5th, which is interesting since it means most people pre-ordering the Vive will get their full kit before anyone who pre-ordered the Rift. And that's not including the delay with Oculus's touch controllers, either.

But still. Damn that price. And don't forget the extra 10 percent you'll have to add courtesy of customs, which brings the whole package to around $1400. Although if you're looking at VR for applications outside of gaming, it's not that expensive. As a gamer though ... looks like my home PC will be giving VR a hard pass this year. (At least until I've upgraded to either Pascal or Polaris, anyway.)


    Yeah... that's 2/3rd of a new desktop PC for me... Pass.

      Not like you could use it if your pc needs to be upgraded

      Wow double post.

      Last edited 29/02/16 12:51 pm

      It's how much I'm looking at spending on a new PC!

        I'm waiting for the Pascal/Polaris cards to drop, then build a new machine after tax time, I'm banking on the equivalent of a 980ti to see me through a few years of gaming.

          I learnt from personal experience that the GPU is the part that gets outdated the fastest. About 8 years ago I built a machine with a $600 card in it. 18 months later, the card went belly up, and I put a temporary $80 card in (destined for other things), which surprisingly did quite a few things better.

          What I'm saying is not to hold your breath that a good vid card will see you through that many years :(

            I know all about older cards, lemme tell you :D

            Up until a few months ago I was still using my 1Gb Radeon 6950, that was unfortunately causing all sorts of stuttering and low frame rates. I dropped $150 on a second hand 2Gb GTX670 off ebay, and it's running just about anything I throw at it at the moment, most things on medium to low @ 2560x1440, so I really can't complain about that.

            However, the rest of my components are from the system I built in 2009, so it's definitely time for a new system!

              Sounds like it. My current rig is roughly a year old, with its predecessor being 7 1/2 when I retired it. PSU quit along the way, I added a (planned) extra HDD early on, and replaced the GPU 3 times.

              Was only towards the end of its lifespan that the other core components started showing their age, and while I might have been able to hunt down some extra RAM, or a replacement CPU (it had a classic Q6600), it was time.

              Didnt die, I gave it to my nephew to mess with, but yeah, it was time.

              For me, with the exception of the GPU, a well planned PC should last for 7 plus years if you plan right. The CPU isnt AS important now, its not hard to get 2x4Gb of RAM for starters then add more later, and HDD's are still cheap as chips.

              Its only the GPU that seems to age fast now, far different to a generation ago when it was expected that EVERYTHING would be replaced every other year.

              Luckily, the GPU is also pretty easy to get in and out, so when it needs upgrading (and really, thats just a measure of how pretty you want your games), then its dollars that decide, not difficulty.

    But with the Vive that includes the controllers, which ORift still hasn't released the price for theirs yet.

    At least it includes shipping...still. That's a pretty heft price...

    Also, its about $1,310 using Paypal's current conversions rates which is what they are using for payments.

      It also includes GST. That's what the extra $100 is for.

        I'm fairly certain the author has it backwards (that's what I get for looking at Kotaku).

        The international price list clearly shows that sales tax is included for all prices except US and Canada, while shipping is only mentioned once - for the date. Plus $100 is what you would expect for the tax allowance, there's no way HTC are going to gouge that on shipping like Oculus did.

          Shipping: US$ 107.74

          You were saying?

    Pretty good prices (in a sense) if they include shipping. And helps to show even moreso how badly Oculus have screwed the pooch in terms of Australian shipping - what's that, only about a hundred bucks difference in price between the two now? Not to mention that whole Tasmania thing that came up over the weekend.

      'Tasmania thing'? Please elaborate!..

        Oculus' logistics company won't ship to Tasmania. They are insisting on people provide a mainland address instead.

          If I had any interest in getting an Oculus, that decision would have me reconsider my purchase. I don't even live in Tasmania.

        Is there something I slept through?
        Tassie is only a small place, surely if there was a 'Thing" someone would have said something to me?

        Pretty much as mentioned by Lichbane: https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/47u50u/132_usd_shipping_will_only_get_you_to_mainland/

        i live in tassie and got lucky i guess, this must be a new rule? i got my dk2 shipped to my door. those assholes.

        also once you hit the 1000$ mark for buying things over seas im pretty sure customs hold your order until you pay tax on it. they did that with me on an online order that was 1100 bucks, cost me ANOTHER 200 :(

        Last edited 29/02/16 12:35 pm

          What Kotaku has failed to notice is that the price INCLUDES GST. That's the sales tax mentioned at the bottom of the page. So there is no reason for Customs to hold onto it.

            If an item is purchased outside of Australia that is over $1000, Customs will add 10% duty irrespective of whether GST was charged at the point of sale.

              That's not customs duty. That's GST for imports over $1000. Http://wwcf.com.au/customs

              Customs Duty only applies to goods imported that are also manufactured in Australia.

              Last edited 29/02/16 4:25 pm

              GST can only be charged at the point of sale if the sale happens in Australia. Basically, it has to be an Australian based business, registered for GST, and remitting the GST, for it to be charged. Theres a good chance of that being the case here, HTC does have an ABN. But dont assume it will.

              For Customs, they arent dealing with an Australian sale, they're dealing with a non resident sale, and basically figure the GST value and impose it. From that point on, what they calculate becomes GST. The importer can claim the credit in other words.

              This whole issue is a big part of whats behind the Netflix tax, and various other international tax issues. Where does the sale legally happen?

                Someone on reddit had a chat with a htc rep who confirmed there would be no additional import taxes for australians.

    Yeah I decided to Go the cheap way out and get the Gear VR with the new samsung S7, which is technically for free because I pay less for my phone.

    It might not be as sophisticated or have controls. but I think it will work until pricing is better for us.

      I did the same thing. Figured I am buying a new phone anyway, might as well go for the VR too

    Your move, Sony.

      some how i think it will be around the same price point. really all these companies were just waiting for occulus to release theirs so they could put theirs out at the same price and not receive as much backlash as occulus did

        I think that Vive and Oculus consumers will have a higher price tolerance than PSVR consumers, given that they are already in (or prepared to be in) the expensive game of PC ownership. If PSVR came out at a similar price, all people would be talking about is how the PSVR costs way more than the PS4. That is Sony's constraint.

        Word is that the PSVR tech specs are lower than Oculus and Vive, so it looks like Sony is building for the market, not trying to get the market to move to it. If that is the case, I predict Australian pricing on PSVR with two Move Controllers and a PS Camera of $549 to $649. Not sure about standalone, but if you can get PSVR without controllers or camera, I'd say AU$499.

          I would agree with your guess on the PSVR price. It seems reasonable. The Oculus and Vive pricing is absolutely ridiculous. The biggest benefit to the PSVR is that it'll work out of the box, it's a bit of a guessing game with the PC VR systems. It might work smoothly, but then again, it may have issues with one of your drivers...but your $500 videocard isn't enough anyway.

          Sony also have the advantage that, as platform holder, they can afford to sell the hardware at or below cost and then recoup that loss on licence fees on software sales. I'm not sure if Oculus / HTC can do that, unless it's perhaps by charging a royalty on whatever software libraries they provide to developers, assuming those developers use them.

          But yeah, the impression I get is that Sony are aiming for a level of performance that will hit a desired pricepoint, rather than the other way around which is what Oculus / HTS seem to be doing. And probably what they have to do, given that they're aiming for a range of more powerful hardware while Sony only have to worry about supporting a single, fixed level of performance.

          The downside is that you'll probably need a new, more powerful PSVR2 by the time PS5 comes around in a couple of years, while the Oculus / HTC versions might have a bit more headroom for your PC specs to grow into.

            I'm wondering how much Sony would be willing to take a loss on hardware of this nature, given that there is no established market and the fact that Sony has recently had to go through some pretty heavy cost-cutting and asset liquidation to improve its finances. I feel that Sony is hedging its bets a bit with VR, making sure it is in the race with a decent (not high) spec product with good (but not AAA) software support, and a decent (but not low) price.

            As an aside, we have not yet heard any big publishers (as far as I'm aware) come out and support either Oculus or Vive. The likes of EA, Activision, Ubisoft and Take-Two have been pretty subdued on that front. I therefore feel that the success of PSVR will depend heavily on what Sony can bring with its first party studios as well as indies. The AAA publishers will be worried that VR is going to be another Wii U or Vita.

              I think the big publishers will probably look at supporting VR as an option rather than making dedicated games for it. E.g. EA have the Star Wars licence... I'd be genuinely surprised if they're not working on an X-Wing style space combat game with VR support for those who have it, but still playable on a conventional setup, too.

    Tilt brush. Tiiilt bruuush *reaches*

    I can see myself picking one of these things up as soon as there's a decent ZBrush/Mudbox analogue available. May need to get a bigger apartment to go with the price of hardware

      Check out Oculus Medium if you haven't seen it already, that one's more of a sculpting tool than 3D painting like this. Or... I forget what their painting tool was, Quill or something maybe?

        Medium looks very cool and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it. It's a bit more of a tech demo/toy than something that looks like it'd be really practical for making production art with, but it's a sign very good things to come.

      I can tell you from personal experience that Tilt Brush is mesmerising. I had an afternoon to play around with the original Vive dev kit with pretty much all the available demos and Tilt Brush is the one I spent the most amount of time with. Hell... even playing around with the UI was amazing. Let alone the ability to shoot arcing jets of luminescent goo out of your hand.

    Isn't it wonderful time to be in Australia?

    Straya tax + shit US currency rate exchange + 10% customs tax = bent over the barrel. That's not even including the price of a VR capable PC ...

      The extra $100 IS the GST (if you READ the website, you'd see that). And if shipping is included, it's actually a WAY better deal than the Rift.

      I'm not sure what people are expecting. This tech is not just cutting edge. It's BLEEDING edge. Of course this generation of hte hardware is going to cost a fortune!

        If the exchange rate wasn't horrible it would be under $1,000 and you wouldn't have to pay GST.

          HTC is registered in Australia and has an ABN. Of course they gave to pay GST. It doesn't matter if it's over $1000 or not. HTC are charging GST regardless of the price... as they are legally obliged to.

          Regarding the exchange rate, that's hardly HTCs fault.

          Last edited 29/02/16 1:53 pm

    IS there confirmation that the USD$899 price does include shipping? I cant find that verification of that. This story suggest it does not include shipping:

      this is the first site that has said that it includes shipment

        They also said it doesn't include sales tax, which is wrong.

      I ordered it last night. It was about 927usd all up including shipping. The 899 price was only 817usd and shipping was 110 express from the us making it a total of 927. Yeah its less than 200 more than the oculus but ut includes controllers and room scale tracking that oculus doesnt have and to be frank its the better device. Imagine having to buy the crappy oculus touch controllers in 6 months time and pay another 130usd just for shipping the controllers will be an additional 200usd minimum and palmer wont show them off yet because they are unproven and inferior to the vive.

    If it is a price specifically for Australians and includes shipping, wouldn't it make sense that it includes the import duty too, rather than that being an extra cost?

    Still dont see it... the PSVR requires its own stand alone processor as the PS4 isnt powerful enough for VR. That is something both the Oculus and Rift dont need or have.

    I think it haw a chance at being lower but not much.

      Actually, seems like the PS4 has the horsepower to drive the PSVR. I saw a Youtube video of a talk made be a Playstation engineer. It pretty much confirms that the PS4 is doing all the VR work, with the additional breakout box doing 3D audio and undistorting the video stream so it can be sent to a TV screen for spectators.


      I was pretty surprised by it, but hey, I guess it is possible.

      Sony are aiming for a price around the current console price. This means it'll easily be half the cost of the Rift/Vive. I agree with what Zambayoshi said above; the price for the PSVR will be $500 AUS. Extra for the move controllers and PS4 eye bundle.

    It doesn't include shipping.
    Also will there be another 10% from customs? As far as I can tell there shouldn't be.

    here I am sitting with my DK2 .... laughing

    its lost its romance period

    other people want to have a go but at 1500 Australian... I feel bad for them

      Dont compare the the dk2 with the CV1 or Vive, because they aren't even comparable.

        I've used both, the CV1 has slightly better resolution than the dk2, but other than that the experience is pretty much the same.

    I really don't know why these are so expensive in the first place. It's a headset with a screen in it and some motion sensors. That's it. The unit itself isn't even doing any of the processing. Why the hell are they so expensive?

      The contain 2 custom, high resolution and frame rate screens.
      Alot of the tech involved is new and has to be created and custom made, which is much, much pricier than using tech that is mass produced.

      All the tech is custom designed and built for low latency. The screens are 90htz refresh rates... again purpose built for VR. This tech exists nowhere else and is not used for other applications. If it was using standard tech, you'd be vomiting in 5 minutes flat.

      THAT's why it's so expensive.

        And the touch controllers and the wireless room sensors as well. It's actually not that badly priced if it's all kept in context, but compared against how much gaming peripherals and hardware costs it's in a different league.

    Expensive to the max ill wait until prices die down.

    Sure there's a 10% customs tax? They're collecting GST - it's being sold as a product to Australia not imported, so I don't see why this would apply?

    The conditions for the price is different now. $899 not including shipping and unknown if taxes are included.

      The HTC site says taxes ARE included.

        Yep you are right. Some other article I read was saying it was unconfirmed after clarification with the rep because shipping is not included in the price for Australia.

        If they include the shipping price to it, I will jump ship from oculus right away. Hopefully not a stupid shipping price like oculus.

          HTC has their own logistics company. They actually ship their phones for FREE. Oculus has no experience in this area. If I was a betting man, I'd say hte Vive's shipping is going to be a lot cheaper.

            Yeap. Oculus's shipping is stupidly $130 for bizarre reason. I'm preparing to jump ship just waiting the preorder to open and confirm the shipping before doing so.

    For a long time I was debating with myself, rift vs vive so I thought id do something uncharacteristic this time and wait a bit.
    The rift not coming with a VR controller certainly made me hold off when consumer was announced and vive just seems a bit more polished than the rift at this stage in the game.
    I knew from the get go, diving into VR this early isnt going to be cheap, thats why iv been putting $50 (part of my cigarette fund) away each week for some time and now I can afford this without issue.

    Errrr yeah... the words "That" and "Fuck" spring to mind, not necessarily in that order,,,

    Yeah, the Vive is actually very comparable in price to the oculus in Australia even with the controllers. Once oculus releases the controllers and asks for another $150USD and another $120USD for shipping (seriously WTF??!) It is an outright bargain in comparison. I really don't know why oculus decided to price gouge their international market so heavily.
    Anyone with an oculus pre-order should look seriously at cancelling and pre-ordering the Vive. You will save cash and probably receive your unit sooner.

    Even if I could afford it and wasn't damn opposed to how badly we get ripped off, I still wouldn't buy it. They shove their VR tech where the sun don't shine, for that price.

    Gimme a break. Even if VR doesn't flop it'll be cheaper in a few years like anything and people will be lining up to get scalped for the next new big thing.

    Nah. No way.

    Wow I'm so tilted right now.

    In all seriousness, I'm just hoping Donald Trump gets elected and screws up the American dollar... If not, I'll have to get an American friend to buy it for me and send it by boat. Heh.

    well great just received this email Morty (Oculus Support)

    Mar 1, 11:13 PM

    Hello Matthew,

    Thank you for your recent pre-order of the Oculus Rift! Currently, we are unable to fullfill your pre-order for the location you've provided.

    In order to maintain your order status, we ask that you please update your shipping address to an alternate address on the mainland of the country provided. You may update your address at https://shop.oculus.com/history

    We request that you ship to a permanent address on the mainland. Please note that we do not support freight forwarding or provide support with customs, fines, or confiscation that may arise from attempts to export the unit from the mainland. Warranty will apply to the original fulfillment location.

    If you do not have a permanent address on the mainland of your country, we will be unable to ship your order. We kindly ask that you wait while we work on making Rift available in more locations around the world.

    Please respond with a confirmation of the address update completion by March 11, 2016, otherwise your pre-order will be cancelled.

    Thank you for understanding,

    Oculus Support

    thanks alot you assholes i brought your Dev kits and this is how they repay us

    They do. HTC charges $110 for shipping on top of their ridiculous price. Not to mention that htc sells it to Australia for $100 more and their price is in USD.

    Also I am sure they are posting from Australia but they charge you $110 for shipping, while they charge USA customers just $30. Oculus did the same and when I asked them why they so so much for shipping I did not get any good explanation. And I think they owed me one because they told me they ship their DK2 from a warehouse in Australia.

    That's why Oculus has lost me and I bought their DK2 on ebay for much cheaper. Now the same happens with HTC. Their price with shipping almost $1100 USD, now if we add custom fees, GST it can go well over USD$1300 and almost $2000 in Australia dollars.

    Hey guys,
    I have ordered my VIVE from HTC website on two weeks ago and haven't received shipping confirmation as yet. After two follow up emails they are still unable to tell me when my order will be shipped! Has anyone had similar experience? I'm thinking of cancelling my order but I'm not sure where else I can buy this product in Australia....

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