The HTC Vive

The HTC Vive just became a bit more affordable, dropping in price by $200. This appears to be a permanent price drop for the virtual reality hardware, now available for $599.

If you pop on over to an online retail website like Amazon, you'll notice that the HTC vive is now marked down to $599. Sure, that's still a pretty penny, but it's quite a bit cheaper than what you would have paid a mere 24 hours ago. Down by 200 smackers, the Vive is now available for its cheapest price point to date, likely making it a more attractive package for folks who have been holding off on taking the plunge into VR gaming.

Back in March, the Rift dropped by an identical $200, making its new MSRP an even $500. While the Vive is still a hundred dollars more expensive, this new price point at least brings it onto a more even playing field with the Rift for folks having trouble deciding between the two headsets.

These kinds of price drops were expected. It's common for new technology to bear a steeper barrier to entry in the early goings and then come down in price as development costs come down. Also, VR gaming has been steady this past year and, with the holiday season right around the corner, it looks like the folks at HTC wanted to make a Vive headset and its various peripherals a more common appearance on holiday wish lists.

To help sweeten the pot, this newly marked down price point also includes a free month trial of Viveport, HTC's VR games service that kind of works like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live. You can pay a set price for a subscription, then enjoy a suite of games included with the service at no additional charge for an unlimited amount of time.

We're particularly happy to see the Vive drop in price because of what it could mean for the future of all VR platforms. The first generation of hardware is solid and there's a nice collection of games now available, with more coming on a regular basis. If VR gaming is to move into the mainstream, then the price of entry needs to come down to meet the core audience. We're not saying that $600 dollars is cheap, just that it's a much more appealing figure than $800. The idea here is that a lower price might mean more people buy the hardware. If more people buy the hardware, then more developers might make VR games. If that cycle continues, we could be looking at a much more robust VR landscape in the next year or two.

So what do you think, folks? Is $599 the sweet spot for the Vive or are you still holding out? If so, what price point is your magic number to jump on board? Let us know in the comments below.

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