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Oculus drops Rift and Touch price by $200

Update: HTC doesn't "feel the need" to cut price of the Vive due to "incredible success" so far

The price of entry for high-end VR has been lowered thanks to a surprise price cut from Oculus.

During Epic's keynote at GDC 2017, the firm's co-founder Brendan Iribe announced the Oculus Rift and its Touch controllers will cost consumers $598, effective immediately. That's $200 down on the previous price.

Separately, the devices are now priced at $499 for the Rift, $99 for Touch controllers and $59 for extra tracking sensors.

"There are two driving components to get VR out to as many people as possible," Iribe told attendees. "One is content... We think we have content pretty well covered now. There are over 100 touch titles available today, hundreds more Rift titles and a lot more coming. There's thousands of hours of gameplay available right now on the Oculus platform.

"The next component to driving VR success is lowering the barrier to entry and making it more affordable to getting everyone into VR. To achieve this, our operations team has been working with suppliers to drive down the cost.

"We're thrilled to bring down the price. There has never been a better time to get into VR and we're just getting started. Oculus and Facebook are committed for the long term. We're going to be investing in VR for decades to come."

The price drop followed a demonstration of Robo Recall - the Oculus-funded, Epic-developed successor to the Bullet Train demo - which the engine provider announced is now available for free to Oculus users.

The game also supports mods and comes with the complete source code, with Tim Sweeney describing it as the perfect tool for users to learn how to develop for virtual reality in Unreal Engine.

Update: HTC has responded to Oculus' decision to cut the price of the Oculus Rift and Touch controllers, explaining that the Vive's performance at market to date makes a price cut unnecessary.

"We don't feel the need to cut the price of Vive," the company said in a statement sent to Upload VR. "We've had incredible success, and continue to see great momentum in market." Neither HTC nor Oculus have released official sales figures for their hardware, though Sony recently said it was closing in on 1 million units with PlayStation VR.

However, despite HTC's apparent stance on price, there is some evidence that it is concerned about the market's ability to purchase a Vive. Earlier this week, it introduced financing schemes for the North American and Chinese markets.

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