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HTC and Valve seek to reduce Vive cost with simplified base stations

HTC and Valve seek to reduce Vive cost with simplified base stations. (Source: HTC Vive)
HTC and Valve seek to reduce Vive cost with simplified base stations. (Source: HTC Vive)
The prohibitively high cost of entry for the Vive experience may drop to $665 from $800 in the near future, according to a report.

What makes the HTC Vive the most immersive consumer VR system available also makes it the most expensive. The Vive makes use of motion-tracking accessories designed by Valve, called "Lighthouse base stations". The Lighthouses track motion of the user using a complex system of lasers, LEDs, and motors. Each base station costs $134—but you need 2 of them. Altogether, this makes the Vive cost roughly $800.

Last month at a Steam developers conference, Valve engineer Ben Jackson outlined some ideas on how to simplify the design of the Lighthouse. Each Lighthouse uses 2 lasers, each mounted on a motor, to track the user, but Jackson believes the system can be reduced to one single motor which mounts both lasers.

According to Road to VR's number crunching, an optimization like this could bring the price of a full Vive system down by 17%. Given that much of the Vive's competitors are selling for hundreds of dollars less, lowering the price sounds like a smart idea to make the Vive more accessible than it currently is.

The HTC Vive is currently one of the most expensive consumer VR systems. (Source: BagoGames)
The HTC Vive is currently one of the most expensive consumer VR systems. (Source: BagoGames)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2016 11 > HTC and Valve seek to reduce Vive cost with simplified base stations
Douglas Black, 2016-11-30 (Update: 2016-12- 1)
Douglas Black
Douglas Black - News Editor
I am a university Lecturer and researcher in English writing, but I like to keep myself busy. Between weightlifting, MMA, and SCUBA diving, one of my life-long interests has always been computers. I used Macs until about 17 years ago when I switched to PCs because of an interest in games, but I'm still interested in top quality laptops that push the design envelope.