Industry analysts react to Oculus Rift’s $600 price tag

What was your reaction when you found out that to hop on board the Oculus Rift train, you were going to need to drop $600 on it? That price point really makes one weigh how important virtual reality is to a gamer.

Many games industry analysts are struggling with a proper response to the Rift’s cost as well. Some are saying that it’s a little too pricey (even “overly optimistic”), especially considering the computer specs required to run it, while others say that it might be selling at a loss.

Minority Media CEO Vander Caballero commented, “As a game developer, I wish the Rift had come in at a lower price point to help speed up the adoption of VR and recoup our investment faster. As an avid fan of VR, I understand the frustration about the Rift’s price, but I’m not surprised.”

The general consensus is that while the Oculus Rift and other VR devices won’t flop, the fact that they’re pricey and a new(ish) concept will slow down the penetration into the mainstream. However, some analysts predict that by 2018, prices will be coming down and gamers will be much more accepting of VR on the whole.

“I see VR as a supplement to conventional gaming, not as a substitute, but it will drain some wallet share,” Wedbush Securities Managing Director Michael Pachter said.

Source: Gamasutra
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155 Comments on "Industry analysts react to Oculus Rift’s $600 price tag"

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AGx
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AGx

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the setup for the majority of PC gamers straddles the line between mid-range and high-end. Going in blind, $600 is a lot to ask for a device that has no perceivable benefit verses some sort of upgrade or even spending that money on 10+ games that does offer you something. I’ve been following Oculus for a while and am very excited for its release but until I can strap one to my head I don’t really have any sort of idea as to whether it’s worth that money for me and right now I also don’t know if there’s anywhere or any way to demo the thing. Why would I be excited about throwing $600 at something like that?

kgptzac
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kgptzac

“Industry react” reads more like “industry does damage control”, due to their $$$ is already banked in VR and count it not to fail to make more $$$

foofad
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foofad

Valhalla Awaits If you think the Vive is going to be cheaper, you’re in for a surprise.

SwobyJ
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SwobyJ

I was thinking more $400-500. Oh well, there will be ways to get it for that within a year or two.

Vagrant Zero
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Vagrant Zero

dragonherderx Vagrant Zero blaaznar skoryy  Sorry for the late response. You are absolutely right. These sensationalist headlines intentionally mix things like FPP or transistor count as raw performance just to get clicks. And people who aren’t as invested on the hardware side get overly excited about these inflated numbers only to be bitterly disappointed in the end.

Fuck them. May they die (the authors of sensationalist pieces, not the disappointed readers). I really do hate the practice.

Veldan
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Veldan

Valhalla Awaits Why, is there a price for the vive known yet? As far as I know there is not, and I’ve seen speculations that the final price will be at least as high as the rift’s.

Voygt
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Voygt

Esoteric Coyote I wish they would change that phrase to be more accurate, “minimum requirements” on Oculus is more like a recommended, its the amount of hardware to produce 90fps to cap out the 90Hz refresh of the display so you do not see frame drops while playing.  If your hardware is close and you still get 60fps it should still be fine.

Valhalla Awaits
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Valhalla Awaits

Meh, just makes the choice between the occulus rift and the vive that much easier. Kinda glad they reduced the choices to just one.

HidingCat
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HidingCat

Wow, I was expecting it to be $400 looking at the DK prices. I guess you can see the margin now. :P

Nyphur
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Nyphur

I just want there to be some reason to actually get one, because so far there is no VR project that is a must-have and isn’t almost as good without VR. EVE: Valkyrie is kind of fun but not $600 fun, and all of the MMOs that can use the Rift play perfectly well without it. I maintain that VR headsets are not primarily gaming devices, and will
end up with the Kinect with more applications in research and other
fields than in gaming.
The only compelling unique applications I’ve seen that actually require VR are psychological or therapeutic in nature rather than games. Irish indie dev Owen Harris has produced an amazing VR demo called Deep that has helped people with anxiety issues, for example. It’s an immersive underwater world that you move through by breathing while wearing this controller which is a strap that fits across your chest. It’s essentially a genius way of using visual feedback to make the user subconsciously perform breathing exercises that are known to relieve anxiety. The user is actively focused on this relaxing VR environment and doesn’t realise they’re being taught to do the breathing exercises.

Then there are the psychological VR projects that use these big 3D cameras to record a scene in 3D and then pipe it into the VR headset like a recorded telepresence session. Your brain is tricked into thinking the scene it’s seeing is real in a way that conventional 2D displays simply can’t convey, which could be huge for things like world news and war reporting in other countries. VR could be used to let you see what life is like in other cultures and could promote racial, culatural and gender sensitivity by putting you in the shoes of another person. Hell, you could mount cameras to a drone and let someone from another country fly it around your country in realtime over the internet, or sell virtual front-row seats at concerts and sports matches.

SoMuchMass
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SoMuchMass

dragonherderx Skyewauker Even a 100 dollar drop, will make this much more attractive to purchase.  If a decent one comes out for 400 or 500, Oculus is in trouble.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

RagnarTheDrunk 
To be fair, the Sprawl trilogy used “‘trodes” not a VR headset. A very different approach of conveying digital information directly to the mind…one that is so far been proven to be pure fantasy. Hence, whey the industry is sticking to clunky monitors attached to goggles for the time being.

Esoteric Coyote
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Esoteric Coyote

My husband wanted to get one of these to play Elite Dangerous, and well 600 dollars for a single piece of hardware to play a single game he enjoys once and a while is way too much.  I’m not sure if we meet the minimum requirements either, I think he just squeaks by and with the Rift requiring 90 frames to prevent motion sickness, squeaking by isn’t enough in my opinion.  It’s okay we’ll wait.  I still think it’s a silly piece of hardware, that does have its uses, but exceptionally frivolous for people like us.

Wratts
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Wratts

dragonherderx Wratts skoryy Of course.  I always expected there would be a cost to it, and was unlikely to be an early adopter anyway.  I just think whatever psychic energy is being expended on the ‘outrage’ around this is really misplaced.  #UltraFirstWorldProblem

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

BKone Higgens What exactly has Nvidia “cloned” like ever?

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

Wratts skoryy Think about that for a moment you spent about that on your rig alone. Taking that into account the OR setup would be costing you 2000 – 2200 or you’d be getting lesser hardware than you’d buy otherwise…

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

Vagrant Zero blaaznar skoryy What people fail to realize is that is like floating point precision and stuff like that. If you talk it’s computing prowess it might be 10x more powerful, but as a GPU it falls into a different area.

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

Skyewauker That was when they were quoting the 350 dollar price point.

Ceder
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Ceder

Im actually glad its so expensive for its first gen. SO many other companies now will make much much cheaper/better and Rift pretty much will regret it.

RagnarTheDrunk
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RagnarTheDrunk

I agree. What use would the average business man have for lugging one of these giant things around too. /s
The lack of vision is astounding. Read Snowcrash. Google ‘Metaverse’. Read the sprawl trilogy by William Gibson. In 10 years, the Rift will be your office.

Janio2
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Janio2

Detton you may want read nvidia article about that just 13% (not 100% sure) of the gaming rigs are up supporting the minimum specs for Oculus. Then again this minimum spec may end up as industrie standard for gaming.

Janio2
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Janio2

McGuffn it may be cheap,  but which games will people end up playing with it. I see the problem of ending up with few top notch games and lots of arties games that are need to be played with somebody reading the instruction to you how to play.

Janio2
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Janio2

nshelton The latency fix will not realy help imho,  because the developers will miss use it by not writing good code and assets with bad level of details (steps) like they generaly do. Its like operation systems makers given them more Cpu power and they will add more stuff to an os that uses way many resources.

Valkyriez
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Valkyriez

I’m not into VR, but the results of ORs Kickstarter alone plus the kit being completely sold out in 14 minutes is probably enough evidence right there to completely nullify your statement.

Voygt
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Voygt

Take a look at the current price of OLED monitors ($5000) then ask yourself, is $600 a bad deal for an OLED based display?  OLED pixel response is at a crazy 0.1ms.  This alone should make any gamer want it even if it did not have any other VR features.  I have purchased a 30″ S-IPS LCD monitor years ago that retailed for $1200, if you think about the Oculus as just another gaming monitor its not so far fetched at its current price.

mmonerd
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mmonerd

Its early to predict VRs  downfall. Certainly high price in the beginning doesn’t  mean it will sell less or people will avoid the product. Its a new innovation in the market and like apples Iphone it is getting attention. I think the main problem for the VR its minimum requirement. Not every one own a decent good running computer. There is possibility for Sony to capture VR market if Rift fails to show good result.

iridescence
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iridescence

Higgens sydh No technology I can think of started off as anything but niche. Most people do not call out for new tech. they just buy it when it’s accessible and attractive to them. That clearly will not be the case with VR for a while but it needs time to develop before it has a real chance to go mainstream (see gaming as a whole, the internet, cell phones, tablets etc.)

Lateris
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Lateris

New technology enters the market at a premium price that drops with each subsequent generation / end tag

Estranged
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Estranged

Xijit You got it!  My marketing instructor was not ashamed to admit as much!

Xijit
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Xijit

Marketing is just a politically correct term for manipulation.

Estranged
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Estranged

deekay_zero SamVenice Armsbend Ya’ll may pull my man card, but Justin is a fabulous talent.  Would have been amazing in the 60’s through 80’s.

Estranged
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Estranged

RicharddeLeonIII Yeah, playing the SC alpha and Elite is making me sick on a smaller monitor.  Actually hoping VR would be better.

dragonwhimsy
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dragonwhimsy

“slow down the penetration into the main stream”. Uh huh. There is NO mainstream future for any VR device in gaming. NONE. It’s only real value is as something to create news stories about. Mainstream gamers will never strap some heavy thing onto their face to play a game. They’re certainly not going to pay the price of a console or more to do it.

Developers really shouldn’t be wasting their limited resources on supporting this. If it gets cheap enough it might be a fad for a year or so like the Wii controller. That’s as much as it can ever hope for and even that would be YEARS away given the price point mentioned here.

And that doesn’t even talk about how strapping a screen to your face can’t be good for your eyes. 

This is a bunch of people really wanting to create the next big thing by hyping up something that most people never asked for or wanted. It’s just never going to happen.

Estranged
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Estranged

deekay_zero mrnastybutler The Wii is good for certain populations, but most of us would become bored quickly.

dorn2
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dorn2

I honestly think it could of gone bad if it was too cheap.  These things require beefy computers.  A lot of people wanted to run them on an unsupported computer.

Estranged
Guest
Estranged

Xijit yep, bandwagon effect, mass hysteria

Estranged
Guest
Estranged

Karl_Hungus Reihen Indeed.  They went as far as pressuring gaming companies to lower their standards to make both systems look similar in video quality.

Estranged
Guest
Estranged

Snky Karl_Hungus Now only was it the cheapest player on the market, it was the best at upscaling older DVDs.  I still use mine.

Estranged
Guest
Estranged

Higgens Ten10K How many of those gamers play sophisticated games like the folks that frequent this website?  The average PC isn’t close to taking on most of our games.

Estranged
Guest
Estranged

Armsbend melissaheather BryanCo Yep, yep.  I’m down with you guys.  Wait and see.

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace
NosyGamer
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NosyGamer

BKone Higgens Samsung’s Gear VR came out for $100 in November. I like it. I understand the earlier version of the Gear VR was $145.

Wratts
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Wratts

skoryy There are already Oculus & PC bundles going up for $1400 – $1600 USD, so the overall pricepoint doesn’t seem too outrageous to me.  I spent around that on my last gaming rig, and usually anticipate spending somewhere in that range about every 4-5 years.  PC gaming as a whole is a more exclusive gaming niche compared to the bigger console market, so . . .

Wratts
Guest
Wratts

TBH, I always thought the entry price point was going to be in the $500 to $550 range, so $600 didn’t phase me at all.  Guess sometimes it works out to be ill informed, if most everyone else was expecting ~$350

JakeBoller
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JakeBoller

I’ll wait till VR is cheaper, and better, and there are actually quality games designed around it.

Vagrant Zero
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Vagrant Zero

blaaznar skoryy  10x more powerful? That has pretty much never happened in the GPU race. The old rule of thumb was the new generation was roughly twice as powerful as the old.

Notice I said old rule. The new rule is that the new generation is roughly 25%-33% more powerful. Pascal does seem to be a bit of a larger leap because it’s shrinking 2 node sizes instead of one…but honestly, I would still be flabberghasted if it managed to be twice as powerful as a 980 Ti. Let alone 10.

LeafyVegetable
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LeafyVegetable

I’ve placed my preorder for the rift which should arrive in June (hopefully sooner) but really hope the vive is in the $300-400 range. If so, I will cancel my rift pre-order and just go for the vive. I do not need a super awesome VR headset for my low-definition eyes and a PC that can’t run max settings on 4k. Hope the vive will be less outrageously expensive even if it means 1080p, which is all my PC can run anyway.

Skyewauker
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Skyewauker

It’s been rumored for a while now that the Vive will be priced higher than the rift so don’t hold your breath lol.

fakepants
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fakepants

deekay_zero
“higher priced than it should be”
Based on what metric? 
Apple currently take >90% of the profits in the smartphone industry, while selling <20% of smartphones. Oculus claim that they are selling the Rift at cost but, somehow, you know better?

sydh
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sydh

Higgens VR will be niche but gaming is not.

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