Oculus Rift’s price has been the topic of hot debate lately, some think it is overpriced considering the fact that its all-in cost may go beyond $1500.
Recently, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg came out to defend its price and now Oculus CEO Palmer Luckey has come out to explain why Rift is priced more than originally expected. According to him, they wanted a product that provides a decent VR experience and for that a $600 device was needed. Oculus isn’t making any money on Rift at this rate and although it would have been possible to reduce the price even more, it would have meant reducing the specs as well.
Palmer believes that Oculus is the bare minimum needed for a good VR experience.
It really boils down to getting the quality we needed for our consumer VR product. We really think that the Rift we’re shipping is basically the bare minimum that’s required to make a device that delivers presence, that anyone can use comfortably. We wanted to make hardware that everybody could use. The Rift is really at the bare minimum of what that takes but also at the top end of what you can make with today’s available technology.
Palmer went in to comment on the all-in cost that may go beyond $1500 for gamers.
There would’ve been no way to drop the cost without significantly reducing quality, and think about the mainstream: Most people don’t own a PC that is powerful enough to run the Rift. A PC to run it is roughly a thousand dollars. Lowering the price of the rift by reducing the quality could’ve been done — $500 or $400 — but it would’ve reduced the all-in investment for the average person from $1,500 to $1,300 maybe. It’s not a huge change, and that wouldn’t have been enough to make the target market leap from enthusiast gamers to mainstream just yet.
Oculus Rift is selling well for now as fans grabbed the first stock in just 14 minutes. However, after the initial rush of sales dial-down, we’ll actually get to see if its pricing have impacted the device.
On the other hand, Sony is yet to reveal a price point for PlayStation VR and although we are expecting it to be somewhere around $400, nothing is yet official. What’s interesting is that during early development of Rift, Sony and Oculus spoke and took notes from each other.
..we brought them in early on to show them what we were working on, to talk about what the minimum standards were for a good VR experience. What does it take to make something that won’t make people uncomfortable and won’t turn people off of virtual reality?
That’s really the most important thing, is to not poison this well for all of us in the future, and I think they understand that. They also understand the importance of content, and they’ve been doing a lot of work making sure there’s a lot of VR games.
Sony indeed understands the importance of content, its committed to providing full-fledged software support to PSVR is shown by the fact that there are over 100 games in development.