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Oculus Rift Pre-orders Begin At $600 (oculus.com) 278

New submitter jerome writes: Pre-orders have just started for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. The $600 price tag is higher than most people were expecting — and that doesn't even account for the required upgrade needed to fully enjoy VR apps. "In September of 2014, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey said to expect a $200 to $400 range for the Rift." The device will first begin shipping on March 28th, though the store is already showing an estimate of April for Rifts beyond the initial stock. "The Rift package also doesn't include the relatively powerful Windows PC that will be required to use the device. Oculus recommends a rig with an Nvidia GTX 970 (or equivalent), an Intel i5 processor, and at least 8GB of RAM." In February, they'll start taking pre-orders for a package that does include a full, "Oculus-ready" system for $1500.
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Oculus Rift Pre-orders Begin At $600

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  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @02:21PM (#51250017)

    You know, for my ass?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you think your ass is hurting, how about the asses of all the developers who invested money to make games for it?

      "Sure, we're taking a chance here, but when the consumer version comes out and this thing catches on, we'll be mad rich!! If the developer kit sold pretty well at $350, just imagine how well it'll sell when it comes out on the shelves at Best Buy for $200!"

      "Sir, they just announced it will cost $600."

      "....but that includes the gaming rig to run it, right?"

      "No sir."

      "Hold my calls." [begins fash

  • by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @02:23PM (#51250041) Homepage

    Sounds like Luckey really meant "$200 + $400 range" - I mean, small wording change and he was right on the money...

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @02:28PM (#51250101) Homepage

      Or, guy with unfinished product has no idea of cost but needs to get investors to keep giving him money so he can finish building it.

      There's little more dishonest than someone who doesn't yet have a product telling you how awesome their product is going to be ... and that includes telling you what the price will be.

      Until there's a product, it's just PR and marketing. And, really, once there's a product, it's just PR and marketing.

      • Or, guy with unfinished product has no idea of cost but needs to get investors to keep giving him money so he can finish building it.

        He said this after Facebook bought his company for US $2 billion. He didn't need more money. He said this after he'd made (and sold) several prototypes. He had a pretty good idea of what it would cost. The actual price is after Oculus VR added things it didn't need, like an XBox controller. And of course this is the price set after it started being manufactured in bulk (which should have driven down the price considerably, yet apparently didn't).

        • Luckey's original estimates were for a product similar to the first devkit - single, off-the-shelf screen, only higher resolution.

          Then they realised they needed more, like positional tracking, low persistence, and even higher resolution, or they risked too many people getting simsickness and another VR failure to launch. And now they had the capability of ordering custom components to fix that, like the dual hidpi OLED screens in the final product. This also explains the lengthy wait.

  • by oic0 ( 1864384 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @02:26PM (#51250081)
    Its a high end gaming screen. I paid $800 for my last monitor and it didnt have head tracking, 3d audio, etc....
    • by ADRA ( 37398 )

      Then you got hosed. I paid like $500 each for 2 27" pro series Dells a few years ago. They're amazingly clear for all of my uses (and I'm pretty picky about visuals). I don't know what speciality niche industry you could possibly need such an expensive monitor for, but I'm guessing that instead you paid 'that' company a lot of tax for the privilege of having a grey monitor with a fruit on it.

      • That's making a lot of assumptions. I can easily find monitors worth dropping $1000+ on that don't have fruit on them. I'm going to make an assumption of my own and guess your lovely 27" Dells are only 1080p if you got them for $500 each a few years back. My next monitor that I plan to drop several hundred dollars on will have at least 2560x1440 res if not 4K and will be 32" or more in size.

      • You get what you pay for. I have Dells at work. The quality is poor, the menu options are poor, the reliability is poor, and I am far happier with my 10 year old NEC Multisync which I bought for well over $1000.

      • Then you got hosed.

        You really think so?

        I paid like $500 each for 2 27" pro series Dells a few years ago.

        I paid $750 for my 32" Acer 4k IPS monitors, you think that is expensive?

        27" QHD displays are running around half that these days, closer to $200 for 1080p screens, but bleh 1080p...

        The professional 30" 1600p displays are still near $1K, but they are really good factory calibrated monitors.

      • by ranton ( 36917 )

        Then you got hosed. I paid like $500 each for 2 27" pro series Dells a few years ago. They're amazingly clear for all of my uses (and I'm pretty picky about visuals). I don't know what speciality niche industry you could possibly need such an expensive monitor for, but I'm guessing that instead you paid 'that' company a lot of tax for the privilege of having a grey monitor with a fruit on it.

        I guess you got hosed too, since I paid $418 each for 2 27" WQHD monitors a few years ago.

        Although I also paid $800 for a 34" Dell UltraSharp U3415W monitor last year to replace my 30" Dell monitor which used to be between my two 27" monitors. All four of these monitors look great and fulfill my needs perfectly. The ultra wide allows me to put two development environments side by side much better than my 30" or 27" ones, although my small 27" monitors are still very good for surfing looking at online docume

      • Are your monitors 4K? Do they do 120Hz or 144Hz? Do they support G-Sync or FreeSync? These are all reasons why he could have spent what he spent and more than you. And no it has absolutely nothing to do with a fruit or a niche industry thing.

        This is an amazing monitor for instance for video gaming. 144Hz IPS is not a cheap thing anywhere plus the G-Sync module from nVidia.

        http://www.newegg.com/Product/... [newegg.com]

    • $800 for a monitor? What was it, a 32 inch 4k curved OLED panel?

      The monitor inside the Oculus is like 5 inches. Not an expensive component at all. Yes it has other stuff too but just on the strength of its individual components, it doesn't justify a $600 price.

      Of course iPhone components don't justify a $650 price either, yet Apple sells gazillions of those... so I'm not saying it's overpriced or not worth buying. There's clearly added value there from all the VR research and integration they've done.

      • by oic0 ( 1864384 )
        Two AMOLED screens binned for the best possible quality. The screens aside, there is a lot more to the thing. Its worth at least as much as a decent smart phone I would think.
    • Correction: It is a SMALL high end gaming screen... the screen itself is not why it is expensive...

  • by known_coward_69 ( 4151743 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @02:29PM (#51250107)
    when i'm sitting next to her at night with this thing on?
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @02:33PM (#51250137)

    I was an initial Kickstarter backer, and they sent a message saying that backers that supported the project at the level of getting a dev kit are getting a final version for free as well (a "Kickstarter Edition", whatever that means - though in included the pack-in games).

    This is a classy move and something they didn't have to do, but really shows some appreciation for those of us that helped launch the company high enough to attract Facebook...

  • .... about two and a half years ago or so, when it sounded like was going to be cross platform and not cost more than a couple hundred bucks or so.

    Twin fail.

    Although to be honest once they announced they were halting support for Linux, I stopped being interested.

  • by Aethedor ( 973725 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @02:38PM (#51250205) Homepage
    I think this price is too high. A VR helmet should not be a goal, but a means. VR games should be the goal. If you want VR to be a success, a VR helmet should be available for many people. $599 (for me it will be €699), is simply too much money for too many people. What they should have done is make the helmet relatively cheap and let game developers pay a small fee to have support for that helmet in their game. Or a business model comparable to those of 3D engines. So, you pay a big portion of the price of the helmet during the actual purchase of the helmet and pay the rest in small portions with every game you buy. That makes the helmet available for many people, which will make VR more interesting for game developers. Is seriously thing $599 is a missed chance.
    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      I think this price is too high. A VR helmet should not be a goal, but a means. VR games should be the goal. If you want VR to be a success, a VR helmet should be available for many people. $599 (for me it will be €699), is simply too much money for too many people. What they should have done is make the helmet relatively cheap and let game developers pay a small fee to have support for that helmet in their game. Or a business model comparable to those of 3D engines. So, you pay a big portion of the price of the helmet during the actual purchase of the helmet and pay the rest in small portions with every game you buy. That makes the helmet available for many people, which will make VR more interesting for game developers. Is seriously thing $599 is a missed chance.

      Exactly. I could easily afford it, but I am not going to pay $600 for the headset, plus a couple hundred dollars more to upgrade my pc (which only cost about $700 to build about 2 years ago) to buy something where the only game I've seen so far that interests me is Eve:Valkyrie (I'm still annoyed they made Dust 514 PS only). There simply aren't enough games to get me to buy something that I know will within a few short years either be discontinued due to lack of interest or made inferior/obsolete due to n

    • That makes a lot of sense. It's essentially the Console model - discount the hardware, make money on the games. I'm not sure how well it will work though, since your market for this is a subset of PC gaming. $600 is already too much for the Console market, and remember that's $600 on top of a PC capable of running it (which will probably run you at least $1k, roughly speaking). The console model may work well in the long run here, and would be a good way to work on lowering the price, but in the meantime, y
    • Shifting the numbers around to deceive parents into coughing up money for their teen's toys may work in the console world, but this isn't a console. This is a high-end PC gaming peripheral. PC gamers have money, or at least don't mind leveraging themselves into mountains of debt for their hardware. On the other side of it, they're accustomed to not spending much on games unless it's a AAA title and even then they're a fair bit cheaper than consoles [google.com].

      As for VR devices in general, you've got a choice. You

    • You're forgetting the cost of the computer, both monetarily and in terms of setup and maintenance. The Rift could cost $50 and it would still be expensive for non- PC gamers. I agree with others. This is more than an impulse buy, but well in line with what PC gamers are used to.
    • This is technology. It'll be cheaper soon. Given how revolutionary the product is and how the zeitgeist has been expecting one for 20 years, it would be corporate incompetence not to pull as much as you could out of the first round of buyers. If it's too expensive for you, have a look again in a year.

  • Whining (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nethemas the Great ( 909900 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @02:49PM (#51250311)
    What's with the whining? This was never meant to be a console crowd device and it sure as hell isn't a Virtual Boy [wikipedia.org]. This was targeting the PC gaming world where entry level systems start around $1500. Given the hardware packed into the Rift it's pretty hard to imagine it not costing that much. Luckey had a nice goal, but he probably should have crunched the numbers before spouting off.
    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      This was targeting the PC gaming world where entry level systems start around $1500.

      I built my slightly more than entry level system for half that over 2 years ago......$1500 is entry level if your only idea of a gaming system is Alienware.

    • On the Rift website they recommend a NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater for a video card. That isn't entry level, that is high end, and an adequate system can still be had for under $1500. Entry level gaming PCs are around $500.
      • I've built my entry-level gaming PC for 250 Canadian dollars.

        It's amazing how little power you really need when you don't have a 1080p monitor. :p

      • A PC that can play games does not means it is a gaming system. A gaming system in a PC gamer's mind usually means "able to play with reasonable frame-rate, a current, AAA title, with graphics turned to medium to high quality." Said another way, if you can buy the graphics card or CPU with the cash in your wallet, it probably isn't a one.
    • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

      I'm a PC gamer. 1500 would buy my last 2 PCs combined. If you're spending that much, you're either bleeding edge (which most PC gamers aren't) or doing it very wrong.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      This was targeting the PC gaming world where entry level systems start around $1500.

      Entry level super-enthusiast? According to the Steam hardware survey about 5% have a GTX 970 ($300 card) and 1% a GTX 980 ($500 card). Of course you need the rest of the machine and monitor, but if you're building a gaming rig the graphics card should be the most expensive part. Only about 1% play at 1440p, 0.1% at 2160p.

  • The biggest problem with this, as well as this generation of game consoles that that GPU tech can't keep pace with display technology. We have consumer-priced sub-$1000 (some even $600) 4K displays and manufacturers are already looking toward 8K meanwhile most mid-level GPUs, much less what goes in to laptops and consoles, are only now getting powerful enough to really push out 1080 with smooth framerates and decent AA and other effects. As I understand it, the Rift is two 1080x1200 displays which is half o

  • It isn't the price that pisses me off it is fact they must have known what price would be for quite some time. Lucky intentionally let the $350 expectation run unchallenged for all this time based on earlier statements until the bitter end when they knew full well it was a lie not even "virtually" close to "reality".

    Who I really feel sorry for are all the devs who spent their time and energy alpha testing SDKs and developing content who are now royally fucked.

  • by Simulant ( 528590 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @03:45PM (#51250911) Journal

    I remain skeptical that this will be anything but a niche product, anytime soon.
    Apps will be severely limited by the motion sickness problem. Also, pretty much everyone with children are automatically ruled out unless they hire a baby sitter have a very tolerant significant other.

    That said, Google Cardboard was the hit of all the parties I attended this holiday season. But only for about 5 minutes.
  • With shipping, it's $914 for Canadians. LOL. Nobody is going to pay that, that's ridiculous. The worst part is that by doing this, a lot of people who were hard-core VR supporters are turning their back, which in turns hurts the developers and the technology.

    For more, head on over to /r/oculus/ and read what's going on with the community.

  • But 700€ ... yeah, fuck you too.

    • by b0bby ( 201198 )

      $600 + 20% (which I think is a pretty common VAT in Europe) is $720. So that might well explain most of the difference right there.

      In the US, there's no VAT, and states all set their own sales tax rates from 0% on up (not sure if any are over 8 or 9%). But a lot of stuff you order online will come with no tax charged even if your state does charge it, so $600 is probably what most in the US will actually pay.

  • by nealric ( 3647765 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @04:29PM (#51251305)

    It's more than I expected (I was guessing ~$400), but I can't say that I am all that surprised or outraged. For a long time, the Oculus folks insisted that they were going to focus on making it good, not making it affordable. This makes sense, because VR technology has been around for decades, but nobody has really managed to make a GOOD VR set prior to the Oculus. Assuming the consumer version is in fact good, they can then focus on making it affordable. If you want affordable, there's always the cardboard VR sets to play with.

    If they manage to succeed with making a good set, then VR will start to catch on and prices will fall for other good sets. I wouldn't be surprised if Oculus eventually releases different models to fulfill low and high end price points.

    I also don't understand the outrage over the PC specs. The fact of the matter is that based on years of testing, it was determined that you really needed high resolution (i.e. 4k) to get rid of the screen door effect that has always been the bane of VR implementations. I wouldn't be surprised if 8k will be needed to really get rid of it. That takes a lot of computing horsepower and there just isn't any way around it.

  • But does it play Ridge Racer?
  • Price of entry, and PC specs are just way too high to get this going. I love the cool little demos on my DK2, and it sold me entirely on VR as the future. Just not anytime soon. Maybe when todays I7s are considered low end and less than $99 the industry might be where VR needs to be for public consumption. Or maybe they'll just end up putting 8k screens in the Rift and set us all back again.

    I'll be looking closely at the PSVR. I think targeting a standardized platform is going to help the cause a bit more.

  • I need the most following to be available before I get into VR (Oculus Rift or Vive):
    1) Flight simulation games: Falcon level of details
    2) Space combat: Wing Commander or Freespace game
    3) Racing games: arcade or realistic doesn't matter much to me
    4) Descent Underground
    5) good controls

    • Flight Sim: DCS World. I don't think there's anything better out there for combat planes and helis.
      Space: Elite Dangerous and Eve Valkyrie.

    • Falcon 3 worked on VR headsets 20 years ago. All major air combat sims I'm aware of support the DK2.

      Elite dangerous. Done.

      Asseto Corsa or iRacing. Done.

      Descent. Support planned. But based on my play of Descent 2 in VR 20 years ago, it will make you puke.

      Controls? As good as they get. Force feedback wheels are easy for driving, but for some reason FF joysticks aren't made anymore.

  • by vix86 ( 592763 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @05:42PM (#51251939)
    I was talking to a friend about Oculus, Valve/HTC, and Sony; and we arrived at the decision that Oculus is probably going to get creamed in the VR industry. The main problem is that the unit is just too expensive and is coming to market way too close to other units that are coming. At $600, I may as well hold out and see what HTC and Sony have to offer here in 4-6 months when they come to market.

    In the conversation, I also brought up the question of why didn't Oculus just take a loss on the first 10,000 units or so in order to bring the price down (I actually guessed that it would probably cost at least $600). As someone that was on the fence about buying a unit, $600 is just too much for me to spend when I know that in 6 months HTC or Sony will have their own unit out. The interesting revelation that me and my friend came to however, was the fact that HTC and Sony are in a better position to actually take a loss on their VR units compared to Oculus since they are actually backed by another platform that they can make money off of. To Sony and Valve, their VR unit is very similar to a game console, where they want to try and get as many adopters to buy into their system as possible so they can make money off of the games and peripherals that go along with it. So the smart thing for Sony and Valve to do now is to come out with a price now that is $200-$350 cheaper than the Rift, even if it means they have to take a loss on the first 10k units or so.

    Personally I'll be holding out to see what HTC/Valve do since I want something that I know will work with the SteamVR SDK.
    • With Facebook backing them I expected it to be cheaper as well. I figured Facebook would have found a way to leverage the connection for mining data about the users to profit from, making the Rift a loss leader.

  • They just priced themselves out of being a mainstream peripheral that every gamer will get and into the niche of racing wheels and aircraft simulator MFPs.

    Good job guys for missing the entire boat.

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