Over the past couple of years, the Virtual Reality market has been growing in both competition and in software development. One of the biggest hurdles facing the first generation of VR devices is the price. The tech is relatively new and expensive, but you still need to keep it low enough for your potential consumers to swallow. The VR forefront that is Oculus has finally revealed the price of their Rift VR unit, and it’s honestly more expensive than I thought.
Oculus has now opened up pre-orders for their Rift VR headset on their official website (which is the most recent iteration of their Rift tech) for $599 USD. The package includes an Oculus Rift headset with built-in mic and headphones, an Oculus Remote, sensor, and an Xbox One controller.
Those who pre-order will also get two VR games. Lucky’s Tale is a 3D platformer where your head is the camera instead of the right stick. This game will come bundled with all Rift purchases. EVE: Valkyrie is a multiplayer spaceflight shooter set in the EVE Online universe and is available as a pre-order exclusive. You will also get a Founder’s Pack for this game that include exclusive in-game content that will be detailed at a later date.
To test if your rig is strong enough to handle the Rift, Oculus has included the minimum specifications for the hardware, as well as an Oculus compatibility tool. If yours doesn’t meet it (mine definitely doesn’t) or you don’t have a PC yet, Oculus will be opening pre-orders for bundles that include an Oculus-Ready PC starting at $1,499 USD in February. It’s safe to say that if you haven’t upgraded your system in the past 12-18 months, you may struggle.
Unfortunately, that’s the real problem with the Rift’s $599 price point if it means you still need a computer more expensive than the headset to run it. Someone has to go first with establishing a price, so it’ll be interesting to see if HTC/Valve and Sony take advantage of this and set the bar lower. It remains to be seen how the sales numbers will be, but it’s cool to see that the VR future is right around the corner.