Oculus Rift will be "affordable" says creator

"We're not looking to make a rich person's toy," says Palmer Luckey about consumer price for upcoming virtual reality headset.

One major mystery that continues to surround the Oculus Rift is what it will cost when the consumer version is finally available. We still don't know for sure, but creator Palmer Luckey said in a new interview that you won't need to break the bank to buy the headset.

"[Price] is to be determined but what I've always said is that if VR isn't affordable it might as well not exist for most people. We're not looking to make a rich person's toy, we're not looking to make a research tool," Luckey told GamesIndustry International. "We want to make a consumer VR headset that pretty much anyone can afford."

Content is what typically sells hardware, and if Oculus Rift is too expensive, the development community for the headset will be a wasteland, Luckey said.

"You can't sell an expensive piece of hardware and expect tons of content to show up," he said. "We're not doing market research around what's the breaking point for people to buy a VR headset; we're just trying to sell it as cheap as we can while still existing as a company."

Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe said in July that the company is currently targeting a $300 price point for the consumer version of Oculus Rift. This is the same price that developers must pay to get their hands on a development kit. Over time and potentially through subsidized offers, the company would like to see the headset become free one day.

"The lower the price point, the wider the audience," Iribe said at the time. "We have all kinds of fantasy ideas. We'd love it to be free one day, so how do we get it as close to free as possible? Obviously it won’t be that in the beginning. We're targeting the $300 price point right now but there's the potential that it could get much less expensive with a few different relationships and strategies."

The Oculus Rift may soon face serious competition, as Sony is rumored to announce its own virtual reality headset designed specifically for the PlayStation 4 this month during the 2014 Game Developers Conference.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

229 comments
dustofdeath
dustofdeath

it is a rick guys toy at that price.


At that cost i can get a 27" 1080p LCD.

It would have to cost half of that for me to even consider.

FlyingAce1016
FlyingAce1016

crystal cove version looks ugly compared to the old also all the motion tracking white dots are so annoying xD

taker254isback
taker254isback

Great idea! and if its affordable , even better ...BUT...they need to shrink that sucker down first! someone said it looks like an ipad strapped to your head.

Creed02
Creed02

waiting for sony to announce its price point 

eze_sl89
eze_sl89

No thanks, ill stick to my Virtual Boy for now

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

This thing will be atleast $600.  Thats not affordable for me.  I'll stick with my TV.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

My main issue with this is surely it has to be at least decent quality to make it bearable in the long term? Like surely this is similar to taking a monitor and getting so close that the image completely fills your visual range (1 monitor per eye obviously). The resolution will need to be high i.e. at least 1080p just for it to not look like crap.

I don't have a PC that can run at 1080p and 60fps. So it will have to be pretty damn affordable in order to justify a loss in quality compared to my current monitor.

And so far it has only been seen as a peripheral to gaming. My monitor doesn't need to be switched off and placed to one side when I close down a game and go on Amazon.

Not to mention there are only a few games that say they have VR support so far. And most of them are games I wouldn't look at twice normally.

iampenguin
iampenguin

My affordable is cheap and there is no way this will be cheap.

deth420
deth420

I like the idea. but that looks like a neck sore, or and up looking like every character from DBZ.

vicsrealms
vicsrealms

Let me use it with Skyrim and Fallout 3/New Vegas and I'll pick it up day one!

cratecruncher
cratecruncher

As Lucky said, they need to keep the price low enough to build an installed base that will attract virtual reality compatibility in games.  You can't just slap on an OR and play any game.  Think how hard it would be finding specific keys on your keyboard for example with a black plate strapped to your face.  The games have to be designed for it. 


A likely strategy is to offer the first model, or OS 1, for $299.  Then 12 months later offer an improved version, OS Ultra, with more res and lower latency for $499 and continue offering the OS 1 discounted to $249.  That way the fans get new kit and the meh's can dip a toe in the VR waters too.  Oh, and if you don't mind being interrupted to watch game trailers on your headset each time you boot the OS 1 is only $199!  Amazon did the Kindle that way.

Aleperez75
Aleperez75

I wonder about the design considerations for the weight in you face and the toll it will have in peoples necks. Because there is no doubt it will cause some cervical pain. People might need some neck collar support.

filemaster4
filemaster4

I don't care if cost a thousand dollars.  Just make sure it has excellent quality components that won't break apart when I hit my head on a non virtual wall. You know what Oculus just customize my own headset that has fiberglass.

realguitarhero5
realguitarhero5

I really see this being $300.  That wouldn't be too much, considering most "gaming oriented" (pshhh) monitors cost that much.

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

I'm one to save every coin change, but even if this was $500 it'd be worth it to me. I can't even imagine what this coupled with a 7.1 headset could feel like.

uninspiredcup
uninspiredcup

About the same price (cheaper taking into account a 3d monitor) are Nvidia 3D vision.

wyan_
wyan_

It's hard to believe they will be able to make a phenomenal headset at only a $300 price point and make a profit. Don't get me wrong though. I want the OR as much as any fanatic. In my opinion the Oculus has value beyond whatever the most expensive projectors cost. They can cost $40,000 and still not project as large an image as you can perceive with the Oculus. $300 is a steal. I'd be willing to pay three to five thousand.

Gen007
Gen007

still seems pretty niche to me. I mean $300 is still gonna be way to high for most and for what it is I dont really see them going cheaper without some ingenuity. I mean for a little more that can be a whole game console and then you need the pc to drive the visuals for the thing which is a doozy too. The avg person doesn't even have a computer that will play the latest games let alone run occulus rift at acceptable lvls as well. They'd really have to get it in the $100 to $200 range to achieve mainstream breakthrough imo similar to how the kinect and ps move were priced. Otherwise the OR is essentially a rich mans toy. Of course enthusiasts will scream left and right its cheap and affordable which is why they are enthusiasts in the first place. At that price point the avg joe wont be interested and as a result actual game support few and far in between for the OR.

jimmy_russell
jimmy_russell

After removing the Facehugger from the gamer, an Alien burst out of his chest.

deadpen
deadpen

current target $300, actual price point $650 with a profit of only $10 from each sale. Isn't that the bs they give for every electronic device that comes out?!

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

I still don't buy it for shooters... I think it'll get too confusing.  The idea of returning your view to center just to be able to orient yourself properly when you turn the mouse seems too jarring for me.  It's a disconnect between natural instinct and the controls you're given.  The OR is supposed to run off of your natural instinct.  Of course, it's one thing to imagine it and it's another to actually play with it.

For driving games or any game where you're piloting a vehicle, it makes a lot more sense(that's a perfect example of using the OR with your natural instinct)... and for that reason I'm chomping at the bit to try something like Euro Truck Simulator 2 with it because it absolutely 100% makes sense and it actually makes the game easier to play since you no longer have to have buttons to move your view.  I use the mouse to turn and I have a view-toggle on a mouse button which changes the mouse from steering to mouse-look.  It sucks to have to toggle between steering and mouse-looking, and moving your view (or steering for that matter) via the keyboard equally sucks.

ignitingicarus
ignitingicarus

@dustofdeath Not long ago a head-mounted display like this would've run you $1000 easily, while offering a far inferior performance. $300 is a perfectly reasonable price for something like this, and it'll get people in the door. You're not purchasing something that's been well-established for years here. To hit this price at this point in time is an accomplishment, though a necessary one. It's hardly a "rich guy's toy", but people who aren't serious about this kind of thing should hold off and see where things go. If VR truly ends up altering the way we interact with and consume media, I doubt a price like this will be outrageous.


Also a 27" 1080p LCD isn't anything to write home about. 27 inches at 1080p isn't great for a monitor, at that point you'd want a higher resolution. 24 inch 1080p monitors are about what you want, and those are becoming (have become) the consumer standard. There's a lot more to VR than just what a monitor can offer, though.

merrickx
merrickx

@dustofdeath 27" 1080p displays are rich guy toys. I can get an Oculus Rift for the price of one of those.

merrickx
merrickx

@FlyingAce1016  It's still just a prototype and was designed to be big, bulky, and accommodating to hardware changes, fiddling, etc.

sundogsfan
sundogsfan

@FlyingAce1016 It's still a developers kit, It is not now, and never was, meant to look pretty or "cool". It is just a technological proof of concept, and something for software and game developers to use, so they can create the programs and video games you will be using with it, once the consumer version is finally released! I thought that was pretty damn obvious, actually.

Not to mention, it is the very beginning (not counting the early 90's VR crap) of a new technology that is going to become far better over time. If you think it is silly or stupid, then I would have to assume that you have either never tried it, or have absolutely no imagination and/or intellect to speak of.

Sorry if this just sounds rude, but MY GOD MAN.

sundogsfan
sundogsfan

@taker254isback Once again, you are stating the obvious! Have you not seen the concept images for the consumer version? It will be smaller, and look similar to that. These developer kits are only meant to prove the technology, and to allow developers to create content! ;)

celtictrinity
celtictrinity

@Dannystaples14  Actually it's one screen for both eyes, and the image is warped/distorted then displayed through custom lenses to give you true stereoscopic 3D. It's not at ALL like holding a monitor up to your face. 


And the awesome thing about the Rift is that the content is going to far eclipse resolution worries. Even at the current dev kits very low res, I prefer playing in the Rift for Minecraft or Half Life hands down.


In the near future, most sites like google/amazon/youtube are going to have Rift plugins, I can promise you that.


As far as games, there are many being developed specifically for the Rift which is crucial. There is a reason there is no consumer version yet, and that's one of them. Obviously at launch there will be many more fully developed games.

sundogsfan
sundogsfan

@deth420 You might be surprised how light it actually is! And the consumer version will be even smaller and lighter, not too mention better quality hardware and graphics...

sundogsfan
sundogsfan

@vicsrealms You will be able to use it with games like that, that is, games that were created for a monitor; However, games and other software that are created specifically for the Rift will be a lot more fun! And there will be lots of them, even at launch! 

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@vicsrealms  

youtube.com/watch?v=2-kF5sRk4vo

youtube.com/watch?v=k7n5kRRHDpw

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

Every game that supports a controller, which are a lot, work perfectly for OR. Also many games can be modded to support OR

merrickx
merrickx

It's about as light as one of my headphone sets, and I've worn ski goggles with a camera mounted to them for length of time without discomfort. The OR's current devkit doesn't cause any such physical discomfort.

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

It really isn't that heavy. Out of the many people that tried it at my home nobody had a problem with its weight

jhebbel
jhebbel

@Gen007  If $300 is too high for you then odds are your PC isnt even capable of pumping out the FPS to make it an enjoyable experience anyway.

merrickx
merrickx

@Gen007  Flatscreen TVs of about $800+, at least, are mainstream. I highly doubt a $300 game-changer peripheral will be hard to sell. $300 is not a huge amount as far as hobbies go.

celtictrinity
celtictrinity

@Gen007  Actually the computer processing and GPU processing landscape has changed a lot in the last few years. Most people with computers 5-6 years old still can run today's games, just at a lower graphical setting. 


I believe the ~$300 price point they are going for is going to be fair. It will definitely bar entry for some lower income people but frankly there's not much you can do about that. I think ~300 is going to open the market up enough.

wyan_
wyan_

@Gen007 Are you a broke elementary school kid with no immediate prospects of getting a job? If not, what would you pay to have the equivalent of a 750" screen to play games on and in damn near perfect 3D to boot? $300 is piss for tech this amazing. Even as a paper boy I would have been able to afford this when I was a kid, even though it would have taken a while to save up.

jhebbel
jhebbel

@deadpen  Well seeing as how you can already purchase DEV kits for $300 you are way off here.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@jinzo9988There is always Cyberith Virtualizer if you want to go natural in shooters.

celtictrinity
celtictrinity

@jinzo9988  While it's not exactly "natural", it's not as bad as you might think. 


Current first person shooters simply won't work well on the Rift. It's trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. You can shave the edges to get it to fit, but it's never going to fit well.


However, with the sense of presence it gives you, I can very much imagine a much slower paced shooter that is m ore about immersion in combat than arcade-y action... Storming Omaha Beach in the Rift would be a heart pounding experience.

GarGx1
GarGx1

@jinzo9988 Star Citizen :) It's being built from the ground up with Oculus Rift in mind. One of the early stretch goals was OR support and they just patched the hangar Module to display on it. (for those with dev kits anyway)

sundogsfan
sundogsfan

@celtictrinity @daikkenaurora12Yea, $300, or less! I would assume that it will start at $300, since that is the price of the developers kit, and the consumer version will be even better than that. And I doubt it will take long for the price to come down, because there are so many people that already want to buy. Once they start actually marketing the consumer version, there will be lots more.

sundogsfan
sundogsfan

@celtictrinity @iampenguinIt's almost certain to be $300 at launch (I price I am more than willing to pay!); However, that price will very likely go down over time, as they get more people purchasing it, and more investors.

And the technology will improve very quickly. I would expect a new model, with decent improvements, every year, for quite some time. But that is just a guess!

deadpen
deadpen

@jhebbel and the xbox one development kit if FREE to qualified developers (any size studio) and that system is $500.

jhebbel
jhebbel

@deadpen @jhebbel  You're comparing apples to oranges, Oculus is using the revenue from the dev kits to actually fund their launch, Microsoft does not need to do this. Besides, do you have any clue how hard it is to get a XB debug kit let alone a dev kit? You have no clue what you are talking about.