It’s just the reality that when you make this thing you have to decide what trade-offs you’re going to make; are you going to optimize for absolute lowest price possible, even if it’s gonna be a lower quality experience? Or do you try to say ‘you know what, this is the first consumer VR headset that were going to be pushing out to people. We need to put a stake in the ground and say: this is the best possible experience that we were able to make.
It would really suck if you put something out there and people were like ‘ah man… the Rift is good, but it’s not quite there’, you know? ‘If only it was a little better, if the lenses were a little better, if the resolution was a little better, if the screens had been a little bit better, then it would be great because you’d you’d say ‘god, we could have just charged a little more and put a little bit more money into custom hardware and actually achieve that.
Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus VR, has told the public what he believes it will cost to own the Oculus Rift. Although the company has been very public about their intentions to stay below the $350 mark, Luckey says, “We’re roughly in that ballpark… but it’s going to cost more than that.”
Luckey and the entire team behind the Oculus Rift are, understandably, disappointed to deliver the news that their VR headset will no longer be as consumer friendly as they initially intended, but Luckey’s reasoning (above) seems pretty…well, reasonable.
For a device that has been in development for almost 4 years, a lot of high expectations are being placed on it by just about everyone. Luckey has a great point, anything less than amazing would severely hurt the company’s PR, so they have to make sure they deliver the best possible at the cost of driving up the Oculus Rift’s price.
Regardless, the Oculus Rift was already cutting out a large portion of average consumers via the specs needed to run the VR headset. Back in May 15 of this year, Oculus revealed the specs a computer would need in order to run their headset, and they are not cheap:
- NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
- Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
- 8GB+ RAM
Any computer with these specs will easily cost over $700. Add in the newly estimated price for the Oculus Rift and it comes out to be over $1,000. Unless you already own a computer running those specs listed above, have saved up money since the Rift’s announcement, or like to splurge, you are out of Oculus Rift’s target audience…I know I am…
The Oculus Rift has been given an official release quarter of early (Q1) 2016. The devs seem to be pretty confident with this release window and have yet to change it (like they have so many times before), so we should be seeing the VR headset really soon if all goes well.