HTC announced the reduction in a bid to bring even more consumers into the world of virtual reality, by making it more affordable and thereby more accessible.
Whether HTC wants to reach a wider audience or the price cut was a response to what Oculus did regarding their Rift, that's now unclear.
If you make a new HTV Vive purchase, you'll also get a one-month free trial to HTC's Viveport subscription service, which offers access to a over 200 VR games. To that end, all purchases of Vive will come with a free, month-long trial to Viveport Subscription, the only VR subscription service now available on the market, so that newcomers can build up their libraries with a choice of up to 5 titles per month to experience.
It's still much more expensive than the Oculus Rift, which also had its price slashed from $599.99 to $399.99, but only for a limited time.
The US is now the largest market for the Vive thanks to the popularity of Steam, HTC's platform partner, according to Raymond Pao, vice president of VR new technology unit at HTC. The company, only a couple of days ago, slashed the price of the Vive in the U.S. by $200 bringing the price down from $799 to $599 in order to keep up with its biggest rival, Facebook's Oculus Rift. HTC has poured a lot into VR, being the first to partner with Valve and release a headset on its SteamVR platform. Meanwhile the Oculus Rift VR equipment sells for 449 Euro including two controllers. At the time, the competing Oculus Rift didn't have room-scale capabilities, which set the HTC Vive apart.
With this move, HTC is clearly indicating its intention to be more than just a VR headset manufacturer. All you need to start your VR experience is a PC that is VR ready. "Google, Apple, Intel, UPS, Volkswagen, SalesForce and dozens of other global brands have all lined up with Vive for their VR efforts, and there's more to come in the back half of the year".