Update, 4/20/17, 8:30am PT: The CyberPowerPC bundle's page is now live on HTC's website (opens in new tab). The bundle costs $2,058 "while supplies last." Purchasing the system and Vive HMD separately would cost roughly $1,969--it's not clear why HTC's bundle costs almost $100 more. We also wanted to clarify that HTC's financing options are available only if you select PayPal Credit as your payment option when checking out from its online store.
Original article: 4/18/17, 8:10am PT:
HTC expanded its financing program with three new bundles containing the Vive HMD and an Nvidia GTX 1070 Founders Edition graphics card, an MSI GS73VR Stealth Pro gaming laptop, or a CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXi970 system. The bundles are available for as low as $49, $125, or $99 per month over 24 months, respectively.
These new bundles are part of the Vive financing program HTC introduced in February. North American consumers now have the option of paying for the $800 Vive HMD over six, 12, or 24 months. The six- and 12-month options carried no interest, which makes the Vive more affordable in both the short and long term, but the 24-month financing option carried a 7.99% interest rate. That's not bad, but it's perhaps enough to dissuade some buyers.
The Vive and GTX 1070 Founders Edition (opens in new tab) bundle will be available only through April 24. It costs $999, which is $200 less than it would cost to purchase the HMD and graphics card separately--unless you opt for the $49 rate with the two-year agreement, which brings the rough cost to $1,176 before shipping or taxes. At that point, the main benefit of buying the bundle is the reduced up-front cost, not the overall savings.
The Vive and MSI GS73VR Stealth Pro (opens in new tab) bundle costs $2,498 upfront or $125 per month over 24 months. The thin-and-light gaming laptop is equipped with an Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor, GTX 1060 graphics card, and 16GB of DDR4-2400 memory. MSI also packed in a 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD to allow the laptop to start up quickly without forcing you to delete games every time you decide to download something new.
HTC said in its announcement (opens in new tab) that the GS73VR is one of its "go-to demo machines at trade shows and events." This doesn't offer the savings of the GTX 1070 Founders Edition bundle. The laptop starts around $1,450 (depending on retailer), and the Vive's $800 price tag brings the individual cost to $2,450. The two-year cost rises to $3,000--even if HTC is offering a more souped-up configuration of the GS73VR, you still aren't saving money.
Finally there's the Vive and CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXi970 bundle. It features an Intel Core i5-7600 processor, GTX 1070 graphics card, and 8GB of DDR4 memory. (Neither HTC nor the GXi970's page on Amazon specified the memory's clock speed.) The system could be a decent entry point for anyone who's curious about VR but is unable or unwilling to build their own VR-ready PC. Its current price on Amazon (opens in new tab) is $1,169.
HTC's page for the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXi970 bundle isn't yet available. We've reached out to a company spokesperson to learn more about how much it costs; right now all we know is that the minimum payment is $99 per month for 24 months. That $2,376 total is greater than purchasing the Vive and the system individually. We'll know if that holds true if you purchase the bundle outright, after HTC offers more information.
Well, hence "need" vs. "want," I guess. If you actually want to finance it rather than paying it in full, okay. I don't see why you would if you have the money, but okay. But if the only way you can afford one is by spending money you don't have, that's the first sign that you shouldn't be buying one.
If you keep a certain amount in your account for emergencies, it might be helpful.
But it's still not a good deal. Right now, the best options are getting an Oculus Rift, waiting for better VR headsets to launch (like LG's SteamVR headset), or waiting for a price drop on the Vive.
I mean, this is $1176 for the Vive with a graphics card. The Rift has been bundled with a complete PC for less than that.
But there are always exceptions. Say your washing machine or your stove dies. Well, you kinda need those things. If they break at an inopportune time financially, well, okay, the smart thing to do is finance that. Or for instance you could spend your life driving 15+ years-old used cars that you only ever pay cash for. That's my current mode of living, but I gotta tell ya, I'm getting pretty tired of driving old cars. Quality of life kinda stuff. So I'm probably going to finance my next car.
But something like a Vive and its associated gaming computer/peripherals? Uhhhhhhhh, financing that is just dumb. It's not even slightly a necessity. Just save up the money. Some would probably say "Oh, it's credit-building," but it's probably actually detrimental to your credit score in both the short- and long-term. If you open too many lines of credit, and/or the average age of your credit lines is too low, that hurts your score, regardless of whether or not you've never missed a payment.
What do you think you're doing when you put it on a credit card? Financing... Yeah, 30 days same as cash (or however long before the billing cycle ends, depending on how your card issuer defines it... maybe even 0 days!)