HTC cuts price of Vive virtual reality system by $200, could spur more enterprise pilots

HTC Vive now goes for $599 and the company may be speaking to enterprises as much as consumers.

HTC cut the price of its Vive virtual reality system by $200 in a move that follows discounting by Facebook’s Oculus Rift.

In a blog post, HTC said it would offer its Vive system for $599. That bundle includes headset, sensors and motion controllers. Oculus in July said that its Rift and Touch were available for $399 for a limited time. Both Oculus and HTC are chasing Sony’s Playstation VR, which has sold more than a million units so far and goes for $399.

If you’re looking at the consumer market, it’s easy to argue that HTC’s price cut doesn’t do much. However, HTC noted that the Vive hardware has attracted enterprise partners such as Intel, UPS, Volkswagen and Salesforce as enterprise partners.

UPS has outlined how it is using virtual reality and Vive for driver training. At $599, the Vive has become more affordable for businesses looking at proof-of-concept pilots.

HTC added that more global brand partners will be announced in the second half of the year.

Certainly, Vive hopes to play in the gaming space, but the win for HTC may be the enterprise. Yes, augmented reality will initially have more use cases, but HTC Vive can garner traction for training, maintenance and other enterprise tasks. Indeed, developers are already gravitating toward Vive and Rift.

Another key reason HTC has a shot in the enterprise: It is one of the few early players focused on corporate uses. Microsoft HoloLens rhymes with virtual reality, but is more augmented reality. Google Glass is more augmented than virtual reality.

Add it up and HTC’s price cut may be more about business than landing a mass of consumers.

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