SuperData weighs in on Oculus Rift’s price drop and rumored mid-end ‘Pacific’ device
If the Oculus Rift’s pricedrop to $400 last week wasn’t enough to get your hands reaching for your wallet, point your eyeballs at this Bloomberg report, which suggests Facebook is angling toward a $200 wireless device, a cheaper version of the more expensive platform. Supposedly code-named Pacific, the new headset is aimed at the middle market between smartphone-hookups and high-end desktop-style PC VR gaming.
Facebook has neither confirmed nor denied Pacific, but that isn’t stopping gaming analysts from weighing in (via MCVUK), including SuperData
“Facebook is not a company for the niche consumer – their selling point is how accessible their services are to anyone, anywhere. So finding something with the potential for mass penetration is a priority, especially with Rift’s bumpy past,” SuperData says. “However, an untethered, self-contained device for $200 seems like either a loss-leader or a highly simplified VR experience (for instance, Google and HTC’s new Daydream device will boast the same conveniences for a much higher price). Pacific may be a combination of both so that Facebook can finally have a long-term stake in the mass consumer market, but it’s too soon to tell.”
MIDiA Research has said the price drop showed a “lack of confidence” but that the new device is “smart” as a supplemental rather than replacement mid-range toy. Still, MIDiA says the games themselves are the key to mainstreaming VR.
“They will only start appealing to the mainstream, when/if their games catalogues of what users are able to enjoy start matching consumer expectations more closely. And, great games take time to produce. While discounting the existing, and producing new cheaper devices will play a role, entertainment VR will not pick up meaningful traction until there is a compelling content mix in place. Give it three to four more years.”