The Price of VR: A look at how much you would spend for the Virtual Reality Experience

Written by Louis

March 23, 2016

Ready your pen, paper and calculators because we are about to do some calculating.

2016 makes it’s place in the Digital Entertainment history as the year of the release of numerous Virtual Reality devices, some of which were announced 3 years prior, and underwent through numerous beta tests, and community based development. Virtual Reality has been regarded as the next frontier in Digital Entertainment, particularly gaming as it opens up the possibility of concocting new genres and new experiences in gameplay.

Not to mention the high quality approach to memes.

Not to mention the high quality approach to memes.

Just these past few months, the Virtual Reality market has officially opened up starting with the pre-order announcement of Oculus’ Virtual Reality headset, and followed next by Valve and HTC’s joint VR collaboration, dubbed the Vive. Samsung and PlayStation is also not to be left out as both brands also announced their own promotions for the release of their VR gears intended for their platforms. At a glance, the price of VR really is heavy, considering that it is just at its early stage, meaning that the possibility of the prices going down is inevitable (with the release of upgraded versions of course, give or take 2-3 years), but there are people who are rushing into it as being some of the first to experience the consumer tuned versions of these devices, while others are still thinking about getting one and weighing in a lot of options, especially now that more and more devices are being announced for different platforms. With this in hand we decided to list down the expected costs for each of the currently available VR devices, from the gear, to the games, and to the necessary add-ons.

1. Oculus Rift orift Well of course we’ll start with the one that started it all, the Oculus Rift, manufactured and developed by Oculus VR, while initially announced at the “$350 ballpark”, the Rift’s actual pricing almost doubled during the time of it’s pre-order announcement, and the cost itself does not include the needed PC Specifications to actually use the device. The current pre-order bundle does include a d-pad controller, and 2 games so at least it makes up for it, I guess?

Platform: Windows PC
Consumer Version Price: $599.00 / Php 27, 768.14
Pre-order Bundle Inclusions:  Headset, sensor, remote, cables, Xbox One controller,  and 2 Games: EVE: Valkyrie, and Lucky’s Tale
Additional Costs (Estimate): Oculus Rift Ready PC est cost: $1035 / Php 47, 980.01(build by OCTOPUSRIFT)
Future Addons: Oculus Touch Controller: $150 /Php 6,953.63 (estimated price)
Grand Total: $1,784  / Php 82,701.78

For a Filipino buyer, that’s more than enough cost to pay-off a downpayment for a car, or even a house and lot, depending on where you’re buying. While costly to say the least, the Rift’s consumer version features a more ergonomic and streamlined design, with a more improve immersive experience through its 3D spatial sound system, and an updated video resoution to give that near-real experience in VR simulations.

2. HTC Vive htc-vive-product-1

HTC and Vive’s VR collaboration project, called the Vive is what is said to be the Rift’s closest competitor, sharing the same platform and providing the same experience albeit, the Vive promises to provide a much more expansive experience  with its Room VR concept, complete with body-tracking motion sensors.

PlatformWindows PC
Consumer Version Price: $799.00 / Php 37,039.64
Pre-order Bundle Inclusions: Headset, body tracking motion sensors, motion controllers, and 2 VR Titles: Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption.
Additional Costs: Vive Ready PC est cost: $1,017 / Php 47, 145.58 (build by OCTOPUSRIFT)
Future Add-ons: None as of the moment.
Grand Total: $ 1,816 / Php Php 84,185.22

While the price tag is a little more higher than the Rift, the HTC Vive is praised to have a much more complete VR package than the Rift, with the inclusion of body-tracking sensors and motion controllers in its order package, in addition, Valve has also announced that it will be releasing a collective of VR experiences called “The Lab” later this year, with simulations and environments based on one of their iconic titles, Portal, so that’s some sort of good news unless GLaDOS has already taken over Valve and is using VR as a ploy to collect more lab rats.

3. PlayStation VR


With the master race already has its share of 2 VR devices, the console lands welcome their own Virtual Reality gear through the form of the PlayStation VR, developed by Sony for the PS4. Hoping to provide the same experience granted by PC VR Gears, the PlayStation VR prides itself in the already significant number of titles waiting to be released once the first units roll out this October, sad to say though, that the gear is limited for use on the PlayStation 4 only with no news of any ports or backward’s compatibility for previous PlayStation versions, particularly the PS3.

Platform: PlayStation 4
Consumer Version Price: Headset only: $399 /Php 18, 496.64 | Pre-order Bundle: $499.99 / Php 23,132.39
Pre-order Bundle Inclusions: PS VR Core Bundle (VR Headset, Processor Unit, Connection cables, Stereo Headphones, AC Power Cord and Adaptor, Demo Disc), PlayStation Camera, Motion Controllers and 1 VR Title: VR Worlds
Additional Costs: PlayStation 4 Unit $ 349 / Php 16,178.77 (varies)
Future Add-ons: None as of the moment.
Grand Total: $ 849 / Php 39, 357.52 (varies by PS4 Console Prices)

At this point, it can be said that the PlayStation VR IS the most affordable amongst the dedicated VR devices with a near complete experience for PlayStation 4 users. In addition, with Sony already providing a long list of titles that will soon be available for the PlayStation VR, this may just be the “best buy” for those who want a taste of the dedicated VR Experience.

4. Gear VR


The mobile arena is not to be left out in the Virtual Reality race as Samsung themselves announce their very own Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus. While it technically is just a VR display headset, it’s quite enough to provide a near-immersive VR experience, and may possibly hold the most number of VR titles, considering that more and more developers are testing out the mobile platform.

Platform: Mobile/ Samsung Galaxy devices
Consumer Version Price: Headset only: $ 99.99 / Php 4635.29
Pre-order Bundle Inclusions: Headset Only
Additional Costs: Compatible Mobile Device, Samsung Galaxy S6 $ 453 / Php 20, 999.95 (varies)
Future Add-ons: None as of the moment.
Grand Total: $ 553 / Php 25,635.70 (varies by Samsung Galaxy mobile Prices)

While comparably lower than its dedicated counterparts as it is being made for mobile, the Samsung Gear VR will still look a bit costly and more affordable counterparts will soon be available, however, it is worth noting that Samsung has come prepared to enter the VR arena with a good number of mobile titles already available for future Gear VR users. Another problem with the mobile VR however is its possible lack of motion or game controllers and headphones, which easily affects the supposed immersive experience that VR holds.

5. Google Cardboard


Speaking of mobile VR, Google kicked off its existence with its Google Cardboard Project launched last 2015. While it seems easy enough to copy with templates available to download from the web, the Cardboard is equipped with VR ready biconvex lens that easily separates it from the copycats. The Cardboard has also underwent a lot of development, with new versions now available from Google Themselves.

Platform: Mobile, Android Phones.
Consumer Version Price:  Base Price at $ 15 / Php 695.36, other versions available with varying prices via Google

6. EVA 3D VR


Also taking a shot at the mobile VR arena is the EVA 3D VR Glasses, an “upgrade” to Google’s VR Cardboard when it comes to sturdiness, the EVA 3D VR is made of hard foam and comes with detachable magnetic straps and locks. The quality is quite comparable to its Google counterpart when it comes to the actual VR Experience, there are a lot of manufacturers for the EVA 3D VR though, so the actual quality may vary depending on where your’re buying.

Platform: Mobile, Android Phones, iOS devices.
Consumer Version Price:  Base Price at $ 17.23 / Php 800, distributed in the Philippines by Long Live Play.

Bonus: CD-R King VR 3D Glasses


It’s technically a VR device so yes, we’re including it, for the sake of those who don’t know, CD-R King is a local computer peripherals provider based here in the Philippines, and has recently expanded into providing a wide array to tech-products from their own Smartphone brands, Electro Bikes and even solar panels. While they take pride in being a “one-stop media provider” they are also known to manufacture sub-par brands whose product lifetimes last as long as their warranties, usually about a month or two. Still they are worth a mention if in case you really just wanna burn money to test out the mobile VR experience, buy at your own risk mind you.

Platform: Mobile, Android Phones.
Consumer Version Price:  Base Price at $ 18.98 / Php 880

In Sum

With different price tags at different platforms, it’s still quite hard to say on which VR device gives the most out of your money, however, upon checking on numerous first hand experiences and reviews, we could say that the HTC Vive holds more value for its price and bundle inclusions, and as well as its potential in not just Virtual Reality but Augmented Reality as well with its room-based VR system.

Still, we advise that you look into all reviews available before you make the decision, and take on other factors, and consider on how you plan to take advantage of the VR Technology.

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