Despite being criticized for its lofty price point, HTC and Valve’s virtual reality headset, the HTC Vive, sells 15,000 units within 10 minutes of pre-orders going live.
HTC and Valve recently announced that their virtual reality headset, the HTC Vive, would launch in April. For $799, those who purchase the headset will also get two motion controllers, two Lighthouse sensors along with two, free virtual reality games, Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption. The price of the HTC Vive has been called ‘far too high’, especially when compared to its VR rival the Oculus Rift which is being sold for $599. However, it seems that those bothered by the Vive’s price are a minority as the virtual reality headset appears to have picked up some serious pre-order interest.
A tweet from HTC’s VR product specialist, Shen Ye, confirmed that the HTC Vive shifted 15,000 units in just 10 minutes after the device became available to pre-order. Unlike the Oculus Rift, which completely sold out not long after its pre-orders began (new pre-orders will not get Rift headsets until July), the HTC Vive still appears to be available, though that does equal a sizeable $12 million for HTC and Valve, the company it partnered up with the make the device. Some have also argued whether this flying start really proves whether or not virtual reality is here to stay or whether it’s a ‘niche’ interest that early adopters are just keen to try out.
The true test of virtual reality’s staying power likely lies with lower end headsets. Away from Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive (which both need to be paired with fairly high-powered PCs in order to work) and even Sony’s PlayStation VR (which will require a PS4), there are plenty of cheaper alternatives, which will lower the barrier of entry substantially.
For example, Google is working on a new headset for a possible release later this year, which will be an update to its cardboard-based Google Cardboard headset which has been incredibly popular due to its low price. Meanwhile, fast food chain McDonald’s is set to launch a test run of its Google Cardboard-like headset in Sweden, selling each headset for just a few dollars each.
Also set to be a huge factor in the success of the virtual reality industry overall is the strength of the software. Games such as 100ft Robot Golf and EVE: Valkyrie are some of the most anticipated upcoming VR titles and if Hideo Kojima follows through with a VR horror game, that too could raise interest. This is absolutely vital, as regardless of whether people find VR affordable, if the games just aren’t there it may be difficult for the industry to reach some of the lofty predictions set by analysts.
Do you think that virtual reality is here to stay? What does the HTC Vive need to do to keep selling so strongly in the long run? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Shen Ye