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January 11, 2016 / Jett

Oculus Rift: I’d Buy That for $599.99?

Leading up to the opening of pre-orders for the Oculus Rift, the company behind the virtual reality headsets were cagey on its price point. Well, now that we know it’s $599.99, it’s clear to see why.

I’ve been fortunate enough to try the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR at different events. Steff also has a Google Cardboard headset that we use from time-to-time. Modern virtual reality is really cool. The graphical horsepower is there to convey immersive worlds for people to view. With the right apps, I really think this could be the next big thing.

However, that price point is going to be a real sticking point for many. That’s more expensive than a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One for a peripheral that may never get the same level of support as those consoles. Any ambitions I may have had for an Oculus Rift at this point went down the drain until it goes on sale or sees a dramatic price reduction.

While they’re not exactly competing for the same thing, I think that the low-end headsets like the Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard are going to be key to the growth of virtual reality. At $100 or less, people can get a taste of the experience, even if they can’t play heavy duty PC or PlayStation 4 games with them. Maybe as the Trojan horses for the concept, people will be more willing to upgrade to a premium headset.

Not saying that the folks behind the Oculus Rift should take a loss to sell their headset at a more consumer-friendly price, but that price point is going to be an extremely hard sell for most. I will pass for now, but look forward to the day when this tech is priced to move.

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  1. Polo / Feb 4 2016 1:59 PM

    $599.99? You must be kidding, right?! I am not sure that this launch price will actually help the device reach a maximum of its targeted market! I can get myself a brand new smartphone and a whole lot of cool PlayStation games for this price. I am pretty shocked to be frank!

    • Jett / Feb 4 2016 3:47 PM

      It is a shock. But what it’s targeted marketing reach might be debatable. If they’re set to sell a handful of these things to the most hardcore, then this might still be a success to them. However, in spite of my love for VR and the enjoyment I had from using an Oculus Rift in the past, I’m not paying $600 for that experience at home. Not yet anyway.

      I think the real VR Trojan Horses are going to be the $99 Samsung VR headsets and Google Cardboard. Much more limited in terms of functionality, but they have the potential to reach way more people with the concept.

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