Oculus Rift Consumer Model Will Be In the $200-$400 Range
Whatever the final price is, it will be "as cheap as possible," the company says.
The Oculus Rift consumer model, which does not have a release date yet, will be offered for around $200-$400, according to Oculus VR co-founder Nate Mitchell. Speaking with Eurogamer, Mitchell revealed the estimated price range, but cautioned that nothing is set in stone.
"That could slide in either direction depending on scale, preorders, the components we end up using, [or] business negotiations," he said. Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey added, "Whatever it is, it's going to be as cheap as possible."
Previously, Oculus VR said it was aiming to launch the consumer model for around $300.
The latest Oculus Rift development kit, called DK2, sells for $350. The consumer model is going to offer a "significant increase" in resolution over the current model, and the refresh rate will rise from 75Hz to 90Hz "or higher." The final design is also not set in stone.
"Whatever it is, it's going to be as cheap as possible" -- Palmer Luckey on pricing for the consumer Oculus Rift model
"It will look like a VR headset," Mitchell said. Asked if the final version would be "recognizably Oculus Rift," Mitchell said, "I think so." Luckey also teased that a major new feature could be included in the consumer version just like head-tracking was brought on for DK2. "Maybe," Luckey said.
Eurogamer's fascinating and in-depth interview with Luckey and Mitchell also touches on what's changed since Sony revealed its own VR headset, Project Morpheus. "Basically zero percent," Mitchell said.
For his part, Luckey reminded us that Project Morpheus is only a "tech demonstration," and suggested it's possible that the device is never released. "There have been lots of things Sony's shown--they even showed AR glasses a few years ago at CES that were never made into anything," he said. "So even if they do decide to make it into a real product that ships, it's on PlayStation 4; we are not on PlayStation 4 so it doesn't really change our strategy or what we're making."
Mitchell added that Oculus VR can't draw much inspiration from Project Morpheus because Sony took a "lot of ideas" from the Oculus Rift's design and implemented them into the makeup of the headset. Like Luckey, Mitchell said that the "jury's out" on whether Sony will release Project Morpheus publicly. However, if Sony does launch the headset commercially, Mitchell says this could be a good thing for Oculus because it will bring more traction and attention to VR in general.
"Even if they do decide to make it into a real product that ships, it's on PlayStation 4; we are not on PlayStation 4 so it doesn't really change our strategy or what we're making" -- Palmer Luckey
"If someone wants to make a VR game they'll be able to ship it on the Rift and potentially the Morpheus to 175 per-cent more people, something like that," Mitchell said. "That's really exciting. I'm actually optimistic that they will bring it to market, but we'll see."
Sony said previously that it is committed to Project Morpheus, and has not held back in discussing the potential for the device and VR in general to affect gaming in a major way. Like Oculus Rift, however, there are no details about price or availability yet for Project Morpheus.
Also in the interview, Mitchell yet again promised that Facebook's purchase of Oculus VR does not mean the company is going to move away from games. He said games are "critical" to the platform, and explained that Oculus' plan is to "revolutionize games" by allowing people to virtually "step inside" them for the first time.
Lastly, Mitchell addressed the seemingly oddball nature of Facebook's buyout of Oculus VR, likening it to when Google bought Android. "They acquired it when it was still a small company, and I would argue that Android would not be as successful or mainstream a computing platform as it is today if Google hadn't. You want to look at the Facebook-Oculus acquisition as something similar to that."
"If you do believe that VR is going to be the next big platform and in 20 years you don't actually have a cellphone, you have a set of AR/VR glasses, and we could be having this conversation with full body language while we're ..across the world... It becomes the ultimate communication platform. And who doesn't want to control the future of communication?"