That title is no joke: HTC’s virtual reality headset — known as the HTC Vive — is said to be around $1,500 whenever it hits retail. That’s the word from Focus Taiwan, anyway, who has heard from brokerage analysts that HTC will likely place it at such a high price point.
The suggested reason for the price is due to the advanced spatial awareness features that HTC is building, something which we can’t imagine is very cheap. That said, the Oculus Rift — which also has spatial awareness sensors — costs just $600.
Analysts believe the high cost will put HTC in a weird spot in terms of sales. Their expectation is that it’ll sell 1 million units, which sounds pretty insane for a 1st generation VR product that costs more than many mid-level laptops, but supposedly not insane enough to be able to knock off the mass appeal of something like the Oculus Rift or even the more basic Samsung Gear VR.
For what it’s worth, HTC is building a pretty nice argument for the Vive being worth what they might be asking for. Many who have used the device have said that it — along with Valve’s SteamVR platform — are changing the game and pushing boundaries in VR. Even professionals are starting to take notice and realize the benefits the Vive could provide for their creative works.
Perhaps HTC’s goal is to speak to a niche crowd more than try to compete with something that’s already gained a ton of steam like the Oculus Rift. It’s tough to say without further information, of course, but there are very few other ways to explain why HTC would want to price themselves out of most people’s pockets. Let us know if you’d be willing to spend $1,500 for HTC’s product once it’s made available later this year.