HTC Vive SteamVR Expensive Price Tag And Recommended System Requirements Revealed

Written by Jon Sutton on Mon, Feb 22, 2016 10:20 AM

The official launch details and recommended system specs for the HTC Vive have arrived, and as you'd expect its commiserations for bank balances across the globe. Understandably the Vive has attracted significat interest thanks to its affiliation with Valve and SteamVR, with the HTC Vive seen as the biggest competitor to the Oculus Rift. 

HTC's Vive offers a very different experience to the Rift, with room-space VR and impressive motion controllers right out of the box. In every way it's being marketed as the more premium product, and that comes at a cost. The HTC Vive is going to launch at $799; $200 more than the already hugely expensive Oculus Rift. It's a massive purchase then, so before you hand over that cash you want to be sure you've got a rig capable of running it. Find out all this and more with the HTC Vive recommended system requirements. 

HTC Vive Recommended System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1 or newer
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 3.3 GHz or AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz
  • RAM: 4 GB System Memory
  • GPU RAM: 4GB Video Memory or greater
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 970 or Radeon R9 290
  • USB Ports: 1x USB 2.0 Port
  • Output: Compatible HDMI 1.4 Video Output or DisplayPort 1.2 or newer

Just to get a feel for the position the HTC Vive occupies, here's how it stacks up to the competition:

Oculus Rift Recommended System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1 Or Newer
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 3.3 GHz or AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz
  • RAM: 8 GB System Memory
  • GPU RAM: 4GB Video Memory or greater
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 970 or Radeon R9 290
  • USB Ports: 3x USB 3.0 Ports and 1x USB 2.0
  • Output: Compatible HDMI 1.3 Video Output

As you can see these system requirements are pretty much blow for blow identical. You're looking at a decent quad-core Haswell processor or the AMD FX-8350. In terms of bottlenecking the frame rate a processor shouldn't be too much of an issue. Any CPU in this region isn't going to be holding things back, and the onus is really on the graphics card to deliver those rock solid 90FPS+ frame rates. 

Againt the GTX 970 or the Radeon R9 290 are recommended. The former is the most popular graphics card on Steam so there's already a sizeable audience with a rig out there capable of performing to Valve's expectations. Presumably the 0.5GB slower VRAM on the GTX 970 shouldn't be an issue, but we'll have to wait and see. 

That's what remains the same then, but the crucial aspect is where the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift differ. Vive needs half the memory, touting 4GB RAM as recommended. If you've got 4GB RAM and you're considering spending $800 on a virtual reality headset, slotting in at least another 4GB for $30 should be a top priority anyway. 

Then there's the game changer for me - the HTC Vive will need just a single USB 2.0 port to work. Compare that to the 3x USB 3.0 and 1x USB 2.0 and you've got a clear advantage. On my rig I haven't even got enough ports to use the Rift, with the Vive I'm going to have zero issues. For many I'd imagine that could swing the purchase.

No surprises in terms of needing a decent rig then, but the all-in cost is certainly beginning to tot up. Get a rig with these recommended system requirements and your looking at a $2000 ($1200 for PC + $800 for the HTC Vive) sunk cost to hit the recommended HTC Vive specs at launch. Is that a bit too expensive for your tastes? Or is being at the forefront of VR worth the outlay?

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16:45 Feb-23-2016

No Thank U Not For that price


I Can see VR working vary well outside of gaming. Hospitals,Museums,Professorial Job Training.


for gaming it can be Choice

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07:28 Feb-25-2016

Hospitals?

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08:56 Feb-25-2016

Well.. you know.. more in the R&D department and less while operating.


I'd work as a monitor and could display all kinds of things. But for operations and the like I'd still rather trust a doctor's personal eye sight.

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07:13 Feb-23-2016

suddenly oculu's price seems pretty normal

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02:31 Feb-23-2016

i'm going to pre order it when it open 29 feb..hope got sell in Malaysia then if not i need to import it from somewhere.

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00:59 Feb-23-2016

300 or gtfo

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08:11 Feb-23-2016

Don't be unreasonable.

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09:39 Feb-23-2016

i think htc's being a bit unreasonable here right?

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10:37 Feb-23-2016

Well no. Noone ever expected the Vive to be priced in the 300$ range. That would be ridiculous.
The talks have always been around 600 from the start.


If you don't want the "premium" of the Vive with it's room tracking and camera, go for the Rift instead.


The pricing for this new technology is perfectly fine as is.
Let's say you need a GTX980 for a "good" experience; that means you've already paid 650$ for the GPU anyway.
Pricing the Vive near that is damn well reasonable.

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10:42 Feb-23-2016

On a different note: A new Full HD monitor with 90+ Hz costs around 300$, make that two of these, add a processor and audio to it.
Now make the whole thing portable.
We're already looking at 750$ for just that regularly.
Now add the room tracking and suddenly the price seems a lot more normal to the "not-quite-so-poor" people.


If HTC gets their materials for around 200$ and add their technology to it, it's pretty reasonable to price it above the 600$ mark.
Keep in mind: FREE API.

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03:43 Feb-25-2016

just a clarification, i was speaking for VR in general


i know that RIGHT NOW we will get scraps for 300,
so dont worry, poor people like me do have patience...

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23:25 Feb-22-2016

that totally killed my buzz for VR now, I guess I will have to wait to see more competitors come in to bring the price down.

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23:13 Feb-22-2016

It seems really cool, but $800 is more than double what I'd be willing to pay for something's that's literally just a fancy gaming accessory.

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00:15 Feb-23-2016

nah I wouldnt call it just a fancy accessory. That little thingy is going to revolutionize our gaming experience supposedly. but yeah, the price tag is more than I am willing to spend too.

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12:51 Feb-22-2016

Will the HTC vive support my 980m laptop? Or does it have the same issue like Oculus which does not work with optimus?

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16:08 Feb-22-2016

im afraid the only vr ready laptops in existence are the ones that come with 980ti mobile version.so no your laptop can't use the htc vive.but if you get the new 980ti laptop then you'll be good to go.

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11:19 Feb-22-2016

I'm actually laughing at the 3x USB 3.0 Ports and 1x USB 2.0 :p
For heaven's sake, why?
Power?
Then surely a separate power supply would be the way to go?
Who on earth thought this would be a viable option?

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14:48 Feb-22-2016

the ones who want people to buy more expensive motherboards or usb cards, that's for sure :D

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02:50 Feb-23-2016

because Gabe wanted to prove he can count to 3 ehh cringe joke

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08:13 Feb-23-2016

You seem to have missed the point.
OCULUS is the one with 4 USB Ports;
the HTC Vive only has a single one.

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11:15 Feb-22-2016

If the Vive was 599 instead of 799 I'd probably buy it instantly.
But as 800 bucks is almost what I earn each month (after paying my taxes), it's gonna take 3-4 months for me to collect the necessary funds.
Still looking forward to it though.

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11:43 Feb-22-2016

will drop in price in a year i would just wait.... and in a year time there be better versions for the same price... let others play with the buggies

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11:44 Feb-22-2016

black friday sales this year there should be hella good deals i think

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10:40 Feb-22-2016

The difference in USB ports needed makes oculus look like they screwed up on that...

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11:14 Feb-22-2016

But the real question is can the Vive deliver on a single USB 2.0? I can think about usb 3.0 but 2.0 ?

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14:44 Feb-22-2016

I'm not entirely sure, but here are my thoughts on the USB matter:
Video will be transfered entirely via HDMI/DP (bandwidth 8GB/s or 17GB/s)
Audio might be transfered via USB or HDMI (not a lot of bandwidth necessary)
we're talking 384 kbit/s tops.
Tracking data will probably be transfered via USB.
I don't know how much tracking data there is, but if it's just coordinates;
head (x: 000.000, y: 000.000, z: 000.000)
room (x: 000.000, y: 000.000, z: 000.000)
That's not a lot of data.

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10:33 Feb-22-2016

well vive requires fewer ports less ram but is more expensive.guess we're gonna have to see which one is better before cashing in.

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11:47 Feb-22-2016

ya wait a least 6 months before buying 1.... wait for black friday sales then be half the price on amazon of the release price

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10:28 Feb-22-2016

This just made the Oculus Rift look cheap...

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10:34 Feb-22-2016

The rift doesn't come with its proprietary controllers yet though; so it might be cheaper initially, but it may end up being a similar price all together

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14:35 Feb-22-2016

Im pretty sure they're gonna mail that to ones who bought it once it releases

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18:46 Feb-22-2016

If you preorder the Rift, that includes the controllers.

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10:22 Feb-22-2016

Holy cow, I'm so not gonna get into VR anytime soon.

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14:03 Feb-22-2016

it's best to wait and gather money ^^ wait like a year

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