Price Drop For Oculus Rift, Touch Controller Begins Today
As of today, an Oculus Rift with Touch costs less than a Vive.
Oculus is aware that price is one of the main factors that stands in the way of many people picking up a Rift. Today, it's implementing a pair of price cuts that it hopes will encourage more people to adopt its PC virtual reality headset.
For $600, you can now get both a Rift headset and the Oculus Touch controller. That's a $200 price drop for the bundle, which was previously priced at $800. The headset itself drops to $500, though it's unclear if that option will eventually be phased out in favor of the bundle.
If you already own a Rift, Touch will now be sold for $100, down from $200. You'll also be able to pick up an additional Oculus Sensor for $59.
Today's move brings Rift closer to the price of PlayStation VR, which is nearing one million units sold, and gets it beneath the Vive's $800 price.
Speaking with GameSpot, Oculus VP of content Jason Rubin said of the price drop, "We think that this is a massive difference. It's very clear the reason we've sold 5 million Gear VRs is because of its price. It's very clear that the reasons certain console VR is doing well is because of its price."
Such a large drop begs the question of whether Oculus (and parent company Facebook) will now be selling the hardware at a loss. Rubin declined to confirm if this was the case, instead suggesting that profitability is not its top priority right now.
"We don't discuss specific pricing, but we've been very clear from the beginning that making money on early units is not what we worry about," he said. "What we worry about in the long run is getting VR to the widest possible number of people. If you think about Facebook as a company, Facebook was not worried when it had its 50th user--whether that user was monetizing, in the parlance of Silicon Valley. They lost a ton of money--not that we are--but Facebook did to get to scale. Once they got to scale, look at the business that's been built."
In our interview, Rubin emphasized how critical Touch is, saying, "[I]t's very important going forward. Rift and Touch together are a package. They're a complete package." Our review noted that it was a must-buy for Rift owners.
VR headset sales may not have been as strong in their debut year as some expected, though 2016 demonstrated the technology is more than a gimmick. Rubin seems confident that driving the price of the Rift and PC hardware down will have a positive snowball effect on the Oculus business going forward.
"[A]s we push PC pricing down, more people will walk out of the stores after a demo with the hardware," he said. "That means more people will be buying software, which means good things for developers, which means more developers come, which means more consumers come to keep bringing their price down, [to] keep filling the store."
"Mark [Zuckerberg] believes that VR is the next computing platform," he added. "For it to be the next computing platform, it has to be in large scale, scale like mobile phones. To get to that, we have to push on price. We have to push on content. So that's really what's important to us."