From most accounts, the Vive is the best VR headset showing right now. This has made me wonder what the initial buy-in cost for the tech will be, especially because it comes bundled with two controllers that help make the experience smoother.
While we don't have a number yet, HTC Connected Products Marketing boss Jeff Gattis has admitted that the price of the headset may well surpass its competitors, at least to begin with. There is a good reason for that though. In an interview with MCV, Gattis explained the reasoning for the higher prices:
We want to deliver the most premium VR experience the world has seen. 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.
Whether we do that with Vive, or other form factors and devices, we understand the importance of driving price down to achieve adoption.
It looks like HTC really are just trying to make the best possible headset and that is commendable. They are making a high-end product. And he is right, the price will undoubtedly fall if the market grows.
It really does make one wonder exactly how much we you'd be dropping for that 'Premium VR experience' though. Are we talking $500 or closer to $1500? I can honestly see it being closer to the latter, which is kind of scary.
I had fears about the Oculus once word got out about the quality of the Vive, but if the Oculus is sub $400 and the Vive is over $700, that is going to be a serious issue for consumers.