Last updated on May 12th, 2016
Last week pre-orders opened for the Oculus Rift at $599.99 in the US (plus shipping and applicable taxes) which includes The Oculus Rift itself, Eve Valkyrie and Luckey’s Tale along with an Xbox One controller. After the initial sticker shock wore off, this price still seems to be a mistake.
A mistake you say? Surely not. Something that really should have been considered was a bundle without the controller and two games. Many people have Xbox 360 controllers that they could use for their PC, or could find a good deal an Xbox One controller if they wanted one. The same argument could be made for the games as well. PC games are notorious for going on sale. Many games can be found for 10% to 20% off MSRP at launch with just a little effort.
“But I want all those things,” you exclaim. And if that’s the case, you could likely still get a better deal on all three by doing some shopping around. If you don’t want all those things, it seems like a bit of a waste to spend extra money on two games and a controller that you are not interested in. This would theoretically push the price up or offset it, let’s estimate $100 to $150. Even launching at $499.99 or $449.99 could make a major psychological difference.
Why does the price matter? Install base. And while it’s important to Oculus, it’s also important to gamers interested in VR. A bigger install base pushes developers to make more VR games or at least games that support VR. This opens the door for both HTC Vive and the Playstation VR. The more gamers developers have to sell to the more likely VR will be a success instead of being left behind like stereoscopic 3D games.
If Valve and HTC can come in with quality similar to or better than the Rift and do so at a lower price, that could give SteamVR quite a boost. While Playstation VR will not directly compete with the Rift, many gamers will likely only be buying one VR device for at least a while if not altogether. Sony has no variation in system specifications and will have less demanding requirements. However it will also come with some extra horsepower for the PS4, which could bring the price higher than one may expect.
With little details in the way of price (or even the release date for the PlayStation VR) for the competition the Oculus Rift could have a tough hill to climb. What do you think? Is the Rift price too high? Have you got one pre-ordered? If not, what VR setup are you looking at in place of the Oculus Rift?
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