While many virtual reality (VR) fans are begging to find out just when the first truly consumer head-mounted display (HMD) will launch, the question of pricing also remains unanswered. HTC and Valve look to be the first companies to deliver a real consumer HMD with the Vive in holiday 2015, but how much will it cost? HTC itself isn’t saying just yet, but does note that the kit will likely launch at a ‘slightly higher price point’ than some might expect.
HTC connected products marketing boss Jeff Gattis said as much to MCV in a recent interview. “We want to deliver the most premium VR experience the world has seen,” he said. “That’s not marketing speak, but more about where Vive is positioned in the market. This is at the high end.
“Starting with the premium experience, even if it has a slightly higher price point, is the right thing to do from a strategic point of view. The price can always come down as the market grows. We know there is some pent up demand there, so there’s not so much price sensitivity early on. But to get the broader consumer adoption we’re all hoping for, the industry will have to drive price down to make it more accessible.”
In the past Oculus VR has provided a wide $200 USD – $400 price bracket for the Oculus Rift PC HMD. Will the Vive exceed this range? Gattis isn’t saying, but does note the importance of driving the price down in the future. “Whether we do that with Vive, or other form factors and devices, we understand the importance of driving price down to achieve adoption,” he said.
Development kits for the Vive are expected to launch in the spring, allowing studios to get to grips with the SteamVR system that the device incorporates. VRFocus will continue to follow the HTC Vive closely, reporting back with any further updates on the kit.