Oculus’ co-founder cautions final Oculus Rift launch price won’t be affordable

Patrick O'Rourke

December 29, 2015 1:42pm

It looks like Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey wants to manage price expectations surrounding his company’s upcoming virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift.

After revealing last week that Oculus plans to begin taking pre-orders for the Rift in the new year, Luckey took to Reddit and Twitter to discuss price expectations for the Facebook-owned VR company’s first VR headset.

Luckey’s barrage of Tweets and Reddit posts (some can be seen below) indicate that while the Rift will likely be expensive, the virtual reality headset will still fall in the US$500 range, pushing the device’s cost out of reach some people.

However, Luckey emphasizes that given the high-end technology featured in his company’s virtual reality headset, Oculus Rift’s initial cost is more than justified in his company’s view.

On Reddit, Luckey also discussed one of the major issues surrounding upcoming VR headsets right now and how Oculus intends to circumvent this problem.

“People who think we are going to come out ahead on hardware don’t understand that our goal is to make the VR market as large as possible so developers (and Oculus) have a large enough addressable market to make VR content financially viable and self-sustaining,” said Luckey in a Reddit post.

  • Kyolux

    Still torned between OR and Vive.. The experiences I’ve read of the latter seems to be better, but software support seems to fall more on the side of the former.

    • Vive is amazing. I’ve used it a bunch of times at different media events. The way the device tracks your body’s actual location and the accuracy of its head tracking and controllers is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced (you ned a pretty big room for it to operate properly though).

  • Skippypaccino

    I guess PS VR for the win?

    • PlayStation VR is the least impressive VR headset I’ve tried, but given you just hook it up to a PS4 and you’re good to go, it’s definitely the most accessible (which has me very interested in it).

    • Skippypaccino

      Exactly, I see it being the Wii of the VR bunch. People will probably walk into a bestbuy next holiday and see a playstation VR in a box for 599$ (ps VR headset, ps4 system and a camera) and impulse buy it. It won’t be the best looking VR stuff you’ll find, but developers will probably support it the most out of the major 3.

      Oculus on the other hand is the sexy option, but the cost of entry will turn allot of people off.

      I’m curious about VR and if I do go that rout, I’ll probably end up picking up a ps VR for the fact that if I get board, I’ll know I didn’t spend 2000$.

  • Dylan

    This entire article is ridiculous and uninformed. The ENTIRE SETUP, including capable computer, which most adopters ALREADY HAVE and over 30 million people AT LEAST have already will cost “$1500”. This has been stated and promised over and over again. The COST TO OCULUS might be 1000$ but the final SUBSIDIZED price to the end user will be SIGNIFICANTLY less. I GUARANTEE it will be sold initially in under $600 CAD, and probably a great deal less – considering it’s essentially a gaming console in of itself that’s a fine price. I paid $300+ TWICE for a PC Racing wheel of good quality and it has limited uses. I paid $350 for the DK2 when there was maybe 5 things you could do with it. The Rift now has has ENDLESS value for gamers and media consumption in general. I suggest you do a little more research. It won’t be “immediately affordable” like the gearVR is – but it will be a completely reasonable price for what is essentially a 4k 90hz 3d gaming monitor, a controller, a motion tracking system, a gaming console, a streaming device, a 3d home theater, and headphones, microphone and kinect, ALL IN ONE.

    • Dennis Deveaux

      I’ll remember this when it costs $899 Canadian because of our poor dollar

    • bigshynepo

      I believe you are right in the sense that we’ll see a huge disparity between the USA launch price and what it ends up being in Canadian dollars. I can’t see Oculus taking the hit on our exchange to give us a deal….$799-899 is very likely imo.

    • Dylan

      It’s still worth more then $899 ~ it’s not oculus’s fault that our previous government put all their eggs in the oil basket.
      Just save up a little. It’s still a luxury item even though EVERYONE is going to feel they “need it”. (and I don’t blame them – VR is life changing)

  • If people are willing to pay $1,000 for an iPad, I think they can swing this.

    • bigshynepo

      Hey, people are willing to pay $30K for a car, I am sure I have a hungry market for my gold-plated $25K golf karts…ya know…because they are both vehicles.

    • Dylan

      Don’t straw man – Oculus does not have niche uses like a golf cart does compared to a vehicle. It’s an everyday computing, creative, gaming, media, educational, and entertainment tool – much like a television or computer monitor is. It replaces the need for a high end monitor, adds 3d and a whole lot more for the less then the price of a good LED tv, except the screen is as large as you want it to be.

    • bigshynepo

      “Oculus does not have niche uses”

      …but unfortunately niche uses are the current limit of it’s implementation right now. Thanks, I have already formed my opinion of the tech and I’ll be buying PS VR for as much leisure time as I have to spend on that kind of entertainment.

  • bigshynepo

    The Sony must plan to take a massive loss on each Playstation VR headset according to palmer then….there is no way PS VR will launch higher than $400usd and it will likely be less (~$300usd). If Oculus launches much higher than $500usd, the price will dominate headlines over what it’s capable of.