Making virtual reality hardware more affordable is probably not going to turn the niche into a mass market overnight, especially if immersive product manufacturers start compromising and cutting back on capabilities rather than boosting the ecosystem.

But that’s clearly not the HTC Vive’s case, since we’re still looking at the same impressive piece of headgear, just $200 cheaper. At long last, the ever-struggling Taiwanese OEM is fighting back at Facebook’s increasingly aggressive Oculus Rift discounts, fearing one of its very few mildly popular devices will also lose the early market-leading status.

For a limited time, of course, the Rift shall remain the obvious choice for VR enthusiasts on a tight budget. Even after summer ends, the $599 HTC Vive is going to be a full Benjamin pricier than its arch-rival.

Nonetheless, $599 sounds a heck of a lot better than $799, with free copies of Google Tilt Brush, Everest VR and Richie’s Plank Experience thrown in to further sweeten the deal. Also, a gratis month of Viveport access, letting you experience a number of other games and mesmerizing apps.

This is a permanent markdown, mind you, so there’s technically no reason to pull the trigger at once, although you’re dreaming if you think this means a sequel is around the corner. HTC has its sights decidedly set on a standalone second-gen model, but China will get it first, and we have no idea when that might be. So, yeah, you can probably buy the OG without worrying it’ll become obsolete soon.

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