Oculus VR Wants a Rift Headset In Every Home

Creator Palmer Luckey says total ubiquity is the overall ambition, but admits only hardcore gamers will probably buy it right away.

Oculus VR, maker of the popular Oculus Rift headset, is not shying away from boasting about its plans for the virtual reality device. Creator Palmer Luckey says in a new interview with Kotaku UK that Oculus VR's hope is for "one in every home." At the same time, however, he admitted that he doesn't expect the device to immediately reach ubiquity.

"Just at launch we need to be realistic," Luckey said. "The people who are going to be buying this initially are going to be gamers, probably hardcore gamers, and they're going to be the ones with PCs most capable of running it. As time goes on it'll become more and more mainstream, but at launch we're going to be targeting that core. Basically let's target it to the people whom we know are going to be buying and then let's go for the people who are going to take some convincing."

This isn't the first time an Oculus VR employee has boasted about the market opportunity for virtual reality technology devices like Oculus Rift. In June, Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe said about VR: "There is no holding this back." He went on to say at the time that once VR takes off, it will "spread like wildfire."

A non-final version of Oculus Rift is currently available to developers, but Oculus VR has yet to announce details about the consumer model. Luckey did tease, however, that the final form of the Oculus Rift headset is "higher frame rate, higher resolution, smaller, lighter, cheaper." He also said that you shouldn't expect to be able to buy the device in brick-and-mortar stores.

"We'll definitely be selling it on our website but I don't know about retail," Luckey said. "Retail is kind of pointless for certain products, especially ones that are targeting hardcore gamers used to buying things online."

Luckey also teased Oculus VR has a "vague idea" of when it plans to ship the consumer version of Oculus Rift, adding that he would be personally disappointed if this version is not available by the end of 2015.

Oculus VR is not the only high-profile player in the VR market that is catering to gamers. In March--just a week before Facebook's $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR--Sony announced its own headset, Project Morpheus. The headset definitely won't be out this year, and when it is released, you can expect that it will sell for less than $1000.

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

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

124 comments
couly
couly

It's taking forever to come out, end of 2015? come on

Rikaelus
Rikaelus

I've been a gamer for the past 28 years, playing everything from Wolfenstein 3D to Skyrim, with my eyes on Star Citizen. And I can safely say I have little interest in one of these, for one simple reason: situational awareness.


I'll often be playing games while watching television. Or I want to know when my wife walks in the room or my kid needs something. Putting an Oculus over my head would seriously cut me off from the rest of the world. That's just not practical.


And those issues aside, I simply couldn't stand the loss of situational awareness. I might as well be blind and deaf to what's going on around me. Someone could walk through my front door, hold a gun to a head, and shoot me... and my senses would be so compromised by this device that I'd never know they were there.


I can't think of a single other mainstream electronic device that's so impairing. Consumer electronics are about integrating with your life--not interfering with it. Would Google Glass be viable if you could only see the screen? Of course not. It works because you can still see what's in front of you; it's adding something off to the side.


In short, I suspect there are very few people who would be comfortable with one of these things on for any length of time. And probably only for as long as they're single.

cratecruncher
cratecruncher

This VR thing needs applications.  Without those even if you sell at a loss it's mainly buying bragging rights for the consumer.  Imagine being the first guy to buy a telephone.  Someone was impressed at a dinner party but I'll go out on a limb and guess the device didn't see much use.


Part of the delay of the Consumer Oculus Rift is likely to give developers the chance to build intriguing environments we all will want to visit.  The more cool applications, the more "amazing" testimonials, the more people want to buy,

jmosher65
jmosher65

I highly doubt this wont sell at least marginally well, people don't seem to have noticed the shear amount of publicity this things gotten. People watch a Youtuber like Pewdiepie use this, then once they see his reactions there immediately thinking, I need this, not to mention the amount of new articles on this too. Admit-able it does require a relatively good computer, so that narrows down the potential sellers quite a lot, but still there's a pretty decent amount of people with a good rig, and given a couple of years time even average computers will be able to play high demanding games (Well depending on exactly how demanding games in the future will be)

ggregd
ggregd

It takes 20 years for a consumer technology to become ubiquitous.  It worked that way with radio, television, PC's cell phones and the Internet.  I honestly don't see VR glasses on the same plane as those things in terms of must-have for every household.

He does pretty much say they're only looking at gamers to get off the ground, and their ultimate ambitions will leave them behind.  He used to deny or downplay that when the Facebook deal was first announced.

Keaze_
Keaze_

Palmer Luckey seems to be living in a fantasy of a life.  Every article about him, what he says sounds like he is suffering from dementia.  He must be wearing his Rift 24/7 and imagines a world crafted around his desires.  He is delusional.

scottw84
scottw84

If they want a Rift in every home they'd have to sell it as a colossal loss, talking in the $300 price range, they aren't ever going to see one in every home at $500+.

DarkReign2022
DarkReign2022

Three things:


1. Announce that it will work with the Xbox One

2. Give us a retail price.

3. Give us a release date.


You guys keep talking about how you want this and hope for that, but this thing has been talked about for years and it hasn't even come close to being released to the public yet. Hell, they haven't even given a release date to have pushed back and delayed, which I have no doubt the first release date they give us will be. The debug product is useless if you're not a developer and this thing has been perpetually stuck in beta mode like Google Glass and I'm beginning to question if they'll ever actually see the light of day. I'm a consumer that wants to own your product, so make them available.

crashmer
crashmer

Less than 1000$? Wow that's a relief... I really don't know where they'll get the 2 billion from this product but good luck with that. 

crushbrain
crushbrain

If they want it in every home then (A) they need to get it to market asap before the buzz wears off (too late imo) and (B) sell it dirt cheap. They are wasting their time with all these dev kits and hype stories. Get Walmart to carry a cheap version that wows everyone, then release a new version each year with incremental improvements. $2B Facebook Credits tells me they have the resources to sell it at a loss in exchange for first to market and hence market share.

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Funny thing is no one thought that TVs or computers would be in alot of households.  Still, this is a niche market.

Igal-Ze
Igal-Ze

Good luck. Can't wait to put my head inside a weird rubber harness and stare at two mobile phone screens, located inches from my eyes, for hours at a time!

Also, all those exhilarating neck aches!

hammerfall22
hammerfall22

I want a occulus rift, for sure. But... 1000 dollars? I think I will wait... for a long time!

That is for "hardcore" ($$$) gamers.

lilflipp
lilflipp

To the people comparing this to when TV was invented and how it was said nobody would use them.

The jump from what we currently use to Oculus, is far from being as big as the jump from radio to TV. That's a crazy comparison.

Merseyak
Merseyak

this wont sell barley any its a total waste loool vr such a joke in the 21st century

Eregian
Eregian

Simply can not wait! I game to explore worlds, what better way to immerse yourself even more.

daveb81
daveb81

"Oh, I'm not gonna buy it, I'm not gonna buy it." Uh-huh, yeah, right.

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

I want a high end gaming PC that can run AAA titles at 60+ FPS/1080p in every home as well. But that's not going to happen. And having the Facebook peripheral without that is pointless.

If every home had a Rift, most of those people would be getting sick from using it because they don't have a computer good enough to run it optimally.

AluminumAndroid
AluminumAndroid

Holographic games are the future, that's what the Japanese are secretly working on. Not a heavy, intrusive interface like the oculus.

chieflion
chieflion

The simple fact is i will not condone strapping a screen on my face, with the exclusive addition of said screen soley being able to play games closer to my goddamn face. 1st world fucking problems. Games have been played on screens away from our faces so they don't burn our goddamn retinas. I weep for the future. Also VR is like the veldt. The technology isn't there yet and may never be, certainly not in my lifetime. Putting a screen on my face and walking around my living room isn't something i want to do when i just get off work.
Nor is it virtual reality, its simulating virtual reality, and looking obnoxious while imitating.

remics
remics

Not in my home. F U facebook.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

Every home huh? You better start giving them away then. I think people are way to enthusiastic and positive about VR. It's not cheap tech and it's certainly not as amazing as they want you to believe.

np3trop
np3trop

I'd rather VR not be mainstream and remained an enthusiast hobby. It would be cool to bring people over who aren't familiar with it and have a laugh.

hystavito
hystavito

If VR becomes something found in every home, it will probably have to be something that is generic, it's not likely they would all be Oculus devices.


Would there be so many smartphones out there if the iPhone was the only one available?  Would Netflix be in so many homes if it only worked on one company's devices?  You can keep repeating statements like that with all kinds of different tech products.


As a note I will add that I don't personally believe VR will take off like many others do.  I don't see it becoming massively mainstream, except maybe in some very different form that we are not even thinking of right now.  My personal issue is that I don't imagine average people wanting to make the commitment (physical, time, etc.) to close off their senses to everything else and just be immersed in that one thing.  I'm always looking at smartphones and tablets as a recent example, and I think one of the biggest drivers of their success is that people love being able to pick up and put them down instantly and easily, from any place, the sofa, the toilet, their car, walking down the street, whatever.  They offer ultra convenience, extreme ease of use, and require very little effort, whether actual or just perceived.  People are inherently quite lazy, you hear people now considering just having to turn on a device (like say a PC/laptop or a game console) as a big hassle and waste of time.  Mobile capitalizes on that, well you could make a chicken/egg argument here but ultimately that's where we're at now.


I think for VR to even have a chance at getting into every home, it needs to be as easy to use as a pair of sun glasses, and allow you an instant and easy way to see "through" it, and we're still very far from that.

wgerardi
wgerardi

@seanwil545 You obviously haven't tried it. 


I'm currently playing Half-Life 2 with the DK2 and its indescribable. I've literally had tears in my eyes a couple times from just being in such awe. I'm sitting here at work waiting to get off and I'm not just excited to play a game, its more than that- I'm excited to be in that world. It feels so linear and coherent unlike anything I've ever experienced in gaming.  

laterarrival
laterarrival

@ggregd No it doesn't. It took 38 years for Radio to reach 50 million users,  13 years for TV and 3 years for the iPod. Notice a trend? Tech is becoming ubiquitous exponentially faster.

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

@crushbrain That's not going to make a lick of difference. It's a peripheral, not a computer. You need a very high end gaming PC to get their peripheral to run properly. One in every home either means every home has sweet rigs, or a lot of customers getting headaches and nausea.

Or find some miracle way to build a VR headset that won't make you physically ill when playing games at 30 frames per second.

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

@daikkenaurora12 To this day a lot of households don't have the kind of computer that you would need for the Rift to not make you feel sick.

ggregd
ggregd

@Igal-Ze Whenever you see someone use one for the first time they immediately want to reach out and touch something they're looking at.  Then they're immediately disappointed when they don't even see their hand, much less feel anything.  There is a disconnect between looking at your surroundings by physically moving your head and having to control your interactions with the world using some sort of controller.

jmosher65
jmosher65

@hammerfall22 It's not going to be 1000 dollars the developer kit is $350 and they've said they want the consumer version to be even cheaper

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

Palmer Luckey must want the majority of his consumers to get headaches and nausea from his product. Because if there's one in every home, that will be the result.

jmosher65
jmosher65

@np3trop If it becomes mainstream it can become something more, company's will see that it's doing extremely well and starts to invest in it, VR will become more and more advanced hopefully giving us something like from Sword Art Online (Yeah I know a generic comparison) although if this fails I can see VR stagnating for a very long time 

jeffcoolo459
jeffcoolo459

@hystavito No doubt! The Oculus is a one person, closed in jail cell of of a headset! How in the world is that social? It simply is not now matter how much Facebook promotes it.

brakish33
brakish33

@hystavito I have to disagree with you sir, if people are willing to sit in front of a computer long enough to let their baby starve to death then they will most likely be okay doing it with some goggles on.

np3trop
np3trop

@hystavito Good post, but what's wrong with using VR while on the toilet? :)

ggregd
ggregd

@laterarrival 50 Million users isn't ubiquitous, it means one in every household and not having one is rare.  I think you're using the date radio was invented, not the date it became a consumer technology and public broadcasts were begun.  You have to look at cell phones, not iPhones.  A few rich people had giant brick cell phones or car phones in the 80's, we've just gotten to the point in the US where pretty much everyone has one.  If anything it took longer than 20 years for cell phones.


Everyone read newspapers and magazines when consumer radio was introduced.  There was no lack of marketing.

Rikaelus
Rikaelus

@laterarrival But not just because it's tech. Everything has an increased potential to become quickly ubiquitous simply due to the increased exposure to marketing. The prominence of radio advertisements would have naturally helped televisions to be adopted more quickly. The prominence of radio advertisements, television commercials, and internet ads helped the iPod get adopted quickly--along with anything else that's new and likable.


By your logic it sounds like you think the Oculus would be everywhere in--what--one year? Not likely. The Oculus isn't nearly as accessible as radio, televisions, and iPods. The simple reduction in situational awareness is likely to seriously limit the Oculus' adoption.

jmosher65
jmosher65

@saturatedbutter @crushbrain They could have it so eventually the Oculus Rift takes all of the stress of playing the video game in about 10 years time so that you could have a crappy laptop and still play good games

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

@saturatedbutter I don't think he cares about the experience people will be getting with it, he just wants to sell it because most likely during the Facebook acquisition they put a clause on him to sell X amount of hardware or he's gone and no money will see his pockets.


Of course he wants their product to be bought by everyone, it's just that nobody really wants it except for some marketing brainwashed people, so I guess that's what they'll be concentrating on the most and with Facebook backing them they have a lot of potential (dumb) people to sell it to already.

On the plus side, Naturalpoint will be having a huge sale spike of their Track-IR hardware soon when people start puking their stomach out by using the Oculus Rift but still want the same level of head movement freedom in their games (and more advantages like being able to see what you're doing, not get shortsighted, not getting dizzy and disoriented, being able to do other tasks, etc.) and you don't need a consistent, guaranteed 60+ fps in order to use it.

hystavito
hystavito

@brakish33 @hystavito Would you describe sitting in front of a computer long enough to let your baby starve typical mainstream behaviour? :)  Is that a story we have seen played out in every home?

laterarrival
laterarrival

@Rikaelus @laterarrival Not at all. I was merely pointing out that ggregd's statement that "It takes 20 years for a consumer technology to become ubiquitous" is a little misleading.