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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Gaming

Get notified when VR game prices drop

Don't wait to pay full price for the hot new VR game? Here's how to watch for sales.

If you've recently purchased an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, you're no doubt enjoying some of the best VR modern technology has to offer.

You may also be feeling the sting of high game prices. New, high-profile games often sell for $30, $40, sometimes even higher. For example, popular Vive title Hover Junkers runs $34.99, while the showcase game Dirt Rally will set Oculus Rift users back a whopping $59.99.

Good news: Just like regular PC games, VR games sometimes go on sale. The trick lies in finding out when that happens.

Make a wish(list)

The easiest option, by far, is Steam's wishlist feature. If you're an HTC Vive owner, you already have a Steam account. (Oculus owners should create one; it's free.)

steam-vr-wishlist.jpg

Create a wishlist in Steam and you'll get notified when your game goes on sale.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

While browsing the store, just click through to the product page for any game, then click the Add to your wishlist button below the screenshot panel. By default, Steam will notify you (via email) whenever an item on that list goes on sale. It's that simple.

However, while there are plenty of Oculus titles available via Steam, many (Edge of Nowhere, Steel Combat, etc.) live only in the Oculus Store. And that presents a slightly larger challenge. Because, unfortunately, that store currently has no wishlist option.

Put alerts to work

Until it does, your best option is Google Alerts. You can set one up for each game you want to track, or use a broader search to track all game sales.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Alerts rely on the same parameters as regular Google searches, so craft them accordingly. For example:

  • Oculus Rift "game sale"
  • Oculus Rift "Steel Combat" price drop
  • Oculus Rift "Steel Combat" sale

Be sure to make good use of quotation marks to avoid alert overkill. (That's why I put the name of my sample game in quotes. If I hadn't, Google would have sent me alerts for any mention of the word steel and/or combat. Same for "game sale.") Also, for any alert you create, click Show options to configure things like frequency and sources.

By default, these alerts come from sources including not only news sites, but also blogs. Thus, pretty much any mention of a relevant sale should trigger an alert. (You might need to do some tweaking of the wording to get the best results.)

Needless to say, you can (and should) set up alerts for Vive games as well, because Steam won't necessarily notify you when all games go on sale; it'll only alert you to those on your wishlist.

Have you found a better way to track VR game prices? Tell us about it in the comments!