HTC’s Vive VR headset is easily one of the most talked-about devices to hit the consumer electronic space in a long time, and along with peers like the Oculus Rift, it promises to open the door to virtual worlds in a way that hasn’t yet been possible at a practical, affordable level. But just how affordable will it be? We’ve been looking forward to pre-orders for a while now, but HTC’s been incredibly tight-lipped about pricing, driving all manner of speculation: how many kidneys are you going to have to sell on the black market in order take this kit home? Today we finally get our answers, and while the Vive’s going to be a little pricy, it won’t run you more than a really high-end, premium smartphone: just about $800.
For that money you’ll get the Vive headset itself, its two wireless controllers, the two wall-mounted tracking units, and a pair of software titles: Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives and Fantastic Contraption.
We already heard that pre-orders for the Vive were to open on February 29, and that’s once again confirmed here. More than that, we get a specific pre-order time, with 10am Eastern your first shot at throwing down cash on a new Vive package.
Following the start of pre-orders, Vive shipments will start going out sometime in early April – but there’s no hard date there just yet. Sales will ultimately come to users in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Sweden, Taiwan, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
Finally, HTC gives us some info regarding the sort of rig we’ll need in order to have enough silicon muscle to drive the Vive’s VR hardware. The company is clear that these are just guidelines for a good Vive experience, and you can get by on less, but you’d be wise to have either an NVIDIA GTX 970 or Radeon R9 290 (or better, naturally), an Intel i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350 powering your system, 4GB of RAM, and either an HDMI 1.4 or DisplayPort 1.2 interface to send video to the headset. Like we heard before, OS support extends all the way back to Windows 7.
Sure, $800 is no small chunk of change, but is it a price you’re happy to pay to get on board on the ground floor for this new world of VR? Let us know in the comments if you’ll be lining up on February 29 to place your pre-order.