It looks as if the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is going to end up costing more than estimates have predicted.
A year ago the company predicted an RRP of between $200-$400. Last month that forecast had been revised to at least $300”. Now Oculus boss Palmer Luckey has told RoadToVR that in fact the device will cost over $350.
You know, I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. We’re roughly in that ballpark… but it’s going to cost more than that,” he said when asked if it was going to cost $350. And the reason for that is that we’ve added a lot of technology to this thing beyond what existed in the Development Kit 1 and DK2 days.
And it’s not a matter of ‘oh we’re selling more, we can make more money!’ 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.
Get the cost down as much as you can on that experience, but make it so that the Rift is something that everybody wants to use to the best of your ability. 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 say ‘god, we could have just charged a little more and put a little bit more money into custom hardware and actually achieve that’.”
Luckey went on to stress that the existence of other low-cost VR options such as the Gear VR takes the pressure off Oculus Rift a bit as it can concentrate on servicing the premium end of the market while a lower-cost option remains open to others.