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The HTC Vive just had a price cut, VR just became a little more accessible

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Virtual Reality just became a little more accessible, as the HTC Vive [Steam] has had what looks like a permanent price cut!

It's now:

  • $599 in the US
  • $799 in Canada
  • €699 in Europe
  • £599 in Great Britain
  • Varies elsewhere

For those in the UK, like me, that's a saving of around £160. That's quite a big saving, but even with that the Vive still won't be within reach for a lot of people I imagine. I still can't imagine buying it myself at £599, especially with so few games supporting it and with the Linux support of SteamVR still being experimental.

Has this price cut made you more likely to buy one, or are you running along to get one now? Let us know!

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bgh251f2 21 August 2017 at 3:43 pm UTC
M@GOidWhen the Rift project begin, the target price was 300 US dollars. I made plans to buy it as soon as possible. Then it was 350, witch cool me down but still wanted to buy it. And then the thing jumped to 600 and I give it up.

Since I live in Brazil, to import the thing I have to pay 60 % (!!!) in taxes over its price and shipping. Yeah, it is that expensive to import things over 100 US dollars here in Brazil.

So, unless those things start to be priced around 300, I'm not buying anything. I still want it badly, but I cannot justify paying that high just to play my simulators.

More or less the same reason why I haven't bought a Steam Controller yet.
haagch 21 August 2017 at 4:18 pm UTC
As someone who doesn't use windows I can not recommend buying a Vive or any VR headset unless you want to be hacking on
  • open drivers like OpenHMD
  • open libraries and engine integration like OSVR/OSVR-Unreal/OSVR-Unity
  • native OpenVR projects like Doom 3 BFG, Vivecraft, High Fidelity, ...

More than six months after Unity had an experimental OpenVR linux beta, which they quickly removed from their releases, they STILL don't have OpenVR support on Linux.
OpenVR support in Unreal Engine should work on Linux, but I still don't know a single application making use of it.

Unfortunately nobody cares about OpenVR on Linux. Even Mozilla (!) is all about supporting proprietary platforms with WebVR and as far as I can tell has not lifted a finger to make it work on Linux in the 6 months steamvr for linux has been available. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1310663
High Fidelity is another such project which touts open source and cross platform values, yet it looks like nobody has even looked at Linux support for their OpenVR plugin. After an unrelated GPU hang issue I had with it was finally solved I got to do some tinkering and after just a couple of hours with minimal experience with it, I got it working (including investigating and filing a mesa bug and getting a patch soon after): https://github.com/highfidelity/hifi/issues/10098#issuecomment-323547377

The sad truth is, until there is a complete (unity, unreal) and proven ecosystem, pretty much nobody will care to make their VR application work on linux.
ObsidianBlk 21 August 2017 at 4:18 pm UTC
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As neither the Oculus nor the Vive supported Linux at the time, I bought the PSVR. I still say, VR is gorgeous and has huge potential (even excluding games) IMHO.

That said, as much as I'd LOVE to get a Vive, it's just still too much! My PSVR sits on a shelf more often than I'd like as it is, I don't need two VR sets doing this... though... I do like playing with WebVR, soooo... *ponders*
mike44 21 August 2017 at 5:01 pm UTC
Once X-Plane supports it, I'll have a look again. But I might wait for the next gen.
omer666 21 August 2017 at 5:19 pm UTC
With the Vive you also need a GTX 1060, that's a total of 1000€ (the price of my whole rig).
Add the fact that I am not interested, and it's a no go.
So, not for me.
haagch 21 August 2017 at 6:24 pm UTC
mike44Once X-Plane supports it, I'll have a look again. But I might wait for the next gen.
https://www.reddit.com/r/flightsim/comments/6oalkh/xplane_11_vr_vive_rift_native_support_coming_this/

But there's a good chance it won't support OpenVR on Linux and you won't have to spend money.

There are already a couple of games with VR support that never bothered with linux.

Alien Isolation had short lived experimental Oculus Rift DK2 support, but never in the linux version. There is now an independent mod, but only for the windows version.
Dirt Rally has Oculus Rift support on Windows.
Euro Truck Simulator 2 has Oculus Rift support on Windows.
X Rebirth VR is only for Windows.
Serious Sam: The Last Hope is still only for Windows.

There are some open source engines that are in desperate need for some porting
KozGit's doom 3 bfg fork: https://github.com/KozGit/DOOM-3-BFG-VR (there's a fork with fewer features that does compile and work on linux: https://github.com/Codes4Fun/RBDOOM-3-BFG/)
Penumbra VR doesn't compile because the original engine doesn't compile on modern gcc on linux: http://rly.sexy/penumbra-vr-release/

I'm sure there are lots more but those I remember right now.
MintedGamer 21 August 2017 at 7:51 pm UTC
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lucifertdark
GoboThere are two major trade fairs in Germany this week and the next: Gamescom will start on Wednesday and the IFA consumer electronics unlimited will follow suit Friday next week. Both have been used to introduce new hardware in the past, so I call it likely we will see some announcements soon.

I'd be willing to shell out 700€ once the support for Linux leaves its infancy. That said, I also bought a Wii U for example and only played 3 games on it, so I might be easy to win over
I bought the original Wii & ended up only playing a single game, the ten pin bowling that came free with the machine.

A little off topic but you guys really missed out on some gems for the Wii and WiiU, you can pick up the games really cheap now, too many for me to list individually but you cant go wrong with Nintendos 1st party games. I've just bought a Switch and absolutely love it.


I've still got a bit of an interest in VR, I think it still needs a "must have" game for it to really take off, as far as I've seen all the games so far are experimental and not really that compelling once the wow factor has worn off.
slaapliedje 21 August 2017 at 9:45 pm UTC
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haagch
mike44Once X-Plane supports it, I'll have a look again. But I might wait for the next gen.
https://www.reddit.com/r/flightsim/comments/6oalkh/xplane_11_vr_vive_rift_native_support_coming_this/

But there's a good chance it won't support OpenVR on Linux and you won't have to spend money.

There are already a couple of games with VR support that never bothered with linux.

Alien Isolation had short lived experimental Oculus Rift DK2 support, but never in the linux version. There is now an independent mod, but only for the windows version.
Dirt Rally has Oculus Rift support on Windows.
Euro Truck Simulator 2 has Oculus Rift support on Windows.
X Rebirth VR is only for Windows.
Serious Sam: The Last Hope is still only for Windows.

There are some open source engines that are in desperate need for some porting
KozGit's doom 3 bfg fork: https://github.com/KozGit/DOOM-3-BFG-VR (there's a fork with fewer features that does compile and work on linux: https://github.com/Codes4Fun/RBDOOM-3-BFG/)
Penumbra VR doesn't compile because the original engine doesn't compile on modern gcc on linux: http://rly.sexy/penumbra-vr-release/

I'm sure there are lots more but those I remember right now.

For what it's worth they have to actually use Vulkan. It's required for it to broadcast through the Headset.

Serious Sam: The Last Hope is kind of lame. It's a wave shooter. Serious Sam: The First Encounter VR on the otherhand works great on Linux and is a blast (even though I'm stuck on it because it's freaking hard!)
Alice VR is one that I think still needs Vulkan tot work (it loads, just not in the headset).
some of the demos work, like Destinations.

What I think the main issue at this point with it, is that the nvidia driver needs to be certain version so it'll work, and I don't think that many distributions have it packaged yet.

But so far, the Vive seems to work like it should in Arch Linux. Except I haven't tested the bluetooth shutdown of the Lighthouses yet (though I found out the firmware file was missing for the bluetooth that the Vive uses, now it's installed I should test that function.)
TheRiddick 21 August 2017 at 11:01 pm UTC
VR will make its comeback someday, maybe when a couple of issues get resolved...
-atm its bulky,
-hand controllers feel rather experimental,
-resolution is quite low causing screen door and pixelation,
-tracking requirements need multiple cameras or sensors for a 'glitchy' experience
-needs allot of software smoothing to compensate for hardware limits,
-still priced quite high despite it being quite cheap hardware wise,
-cheap small screen lcd technology is still limited in color/light/response levels
slaapliedje 21 August 2017 at 11:22 pm UTC
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TheRiddickVR will make its comeback someday, maybe when a couple of issues get resolved...
-atm its bulky,
-hand controllers feel rather experimental,
-resolution is quite low causing screen door and pixelation,
-tracking requirements need multiple cameras or sensors for a 'glitchy' experience
-needs allot of software smoothing to compensate for hardware limits,
-still priced quite high despite it being quite cheap hardware wise,
-cheap small screen lcd technology is still limited in color/light/response levels

I'll take your points one at a time:
-It's not TERRIBLY bulky, maybe a tad. Though honestly once my face goes in, I don't really notice anything except that I'm not in a new universe...
-The Knuckles look quite awesome, but otherwise the motion controllers feel like.. well controllers. I wouldn't really call them experimental, just not a lot you can do with how they're currently designed, though playing gun time games is great.
-Resolution.. quite frankly I only first noticed the screen door effect when I tried watching movies in it. I don't see it at all in most games unless I look really hard, and of course when you watch movies you're staring forward at movement, vs moving your head around and paying attention to the game.
-Tracking works great actually, I think the only time I've had tracking issues at all is when my controller somehow ends up under my table, so of course the tracking goes a little screwy.
-I can agree with software smoothing. But much like resolution, it's still early days, text can be hard to read in it, but most other things look fantastic.
-(only speaking for the Vive here) it's fairly decently made, it's not like some smartphones that cost just as much but will completely shatter on impact with anything because they're made of glass...but for price, it is kind of expensive, especially if you're starting with a laptop and not a gaming rig. Though to be fair I did see a 599 eGPU that you could connect up to a cheaper laptop (assuming it has thunderbolt 3), so you could probably get one for about 800+600+600 for laptop+eGPU+vive, but that's still quite a chunk of change!
-I personally haven't had any issues with the color/light/response on my Vive. Though I do occasionally get the 'god-ray' effect if I'm looking around and see something bright.

Either way, VR isn't making any 'comeback' It's here to stay and is only going to get better. There are a few companies claiming 4k per eye.
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