HTC announced the price of its Vive virtual reality headset on Sunday, a day before Mobile World Congress kicks off in Barcelona, and people seem pretty happy with the price. That may seem odd at first, because the Vive will cost $800, and people were freaking out about the Oculus Rift costing $600, but the Vive will come with two wireless controllers and a pair of base stations for the headset to help justify the price. Also, most of the outrage over the Rift’s price was about how Oculus promised that it would be “in the ballpark” of $350, which was a load of crap, whereas HTC made it clear from the start that the Vive will be really expensive.
The HTC Vive, which made its big debut at Mobile World Congress last year, returns to Barcelona today with an official $799 price and a February 29th preorder date. Announcing the price of the Vive Consumer Edition a day before MWC’s official kickoff, HTC has detailed the full kit that will come with the Vive and also added the news of smartphone functionality for the VR headset. The Vive will include integrated phone functions that allow the user to answer calls, check text messages, and view calendar reminders without removing the headset or stopping play. iOS and Android will be the two supported mobile operating systems. In the Vive Consumer Edition box will be the head-mounted display itself, the two wireless controllers, a pair of Vive base stations, a Vive Link Box, and a pair of Vive ear buds. The headset tethers to a PC via a cable at the back, and offers a headphone jack that allows you to plug in either the provided buds or your own earphones. HTC says it’s made a number of refinements from the Vive Pre, including an improved head-strap, more polished finish, superior ergonomics, and the addition of a built-in microphone. Like everything else on the Vive, the microphone will have an open API and HTC and Valve hope developers will “go nuts” when coming up with creative uses for it.