The early days of virtual reality (VR) aren’t going to be cheap: Mobile phone maker HTC announced at Mobile World Congress this weekend that its HTC Vive headset is going to sell for $799 when it starts shipping in early April.
For that price, you are going to get the headset itself, two lighthouse location sensors and two wireless controllers, as well as two VR games: “Job Simulator” from Owlchemy Labs and “Fantastic Contraption” by Northway Games. Consumers will be able to pre-order the HTC Vive starting February 29.
The announcement comes a little over a month after Facebook-owned Oculus revealed that its Rift VR headset is going to cost $600.
However, this isn’t just a case of one product being more expensive than the other: The Oculus Rift wont’ ship with controllers at launch. Oculus has its own Touch controllers, but those won’t be available until the second half of 2016. The company also hasn’t announced how much Touch controllers will cost, so it’s possible that both headsets will actually cost about the same once you include those controllers.
A number of VR fans complained loudly when Oculus announced the Rift’s price point, arguing that it was much too expensive. However, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey told Variety last month that a lower price point would have meant degrading the VR experience, which would have ultimately have done more harm than good to the nascent medium.