HTC once again shows that it doesn’t care about the Indian market.
In the latest instalment of HTC’s long-running series of blunders in India, the Taiwanese manufacturer has launched the Vive VR headset in India. Before we get to the astronomical price, a quick primer on the Indian electronics scene. In an effort to get local manufacturing off the ground, the Indian government is incentivizing local assembly efforts, and has hiked duties of electronics that are imported into the country (which constitute a vast majority).
Now, back to the HTC Vive. The VR headset will retail for an astounding ₹92,990 ($1,440), making India one of the costliest markets for the headset. The Vive costs $799 in the U.S., so we’re looking at a markup of $640, and in that price differential you can pick up a GTX 1080.
The Vive will be up for pre-order on Amazon India starting tomorrow, April 22, and HTC is setting up experience zones all around the country for people to try out the headset. Considering that PC gaming in itself is a nascent market in India, it’s hard to see the Vive gaining any traction here. Even if you were to pick up a Vive, you’ll need a decent machine to drive the headset, and that will cost at least ₹50,000 ($775) if you’re starting from scratch. I’ve waited a year for the Vive to come to India, but I should’ve done the sensible thing and imported it from the U.S. Even accounting for customs duties, it’ll run lower than what HTC is charging for the headset.