Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Oculus Rift will cost you $600 at launch.


You can preorder it right now, if you're of a mind - and it doesn't require a deposit!  Just sign yourself up and have six hundred dollars ready to go when it launches in March.

Now... a lot of folks around the 'Net experienced a touch of sticker shock today, when the price was announced.  I mean, six hundred bucks?!  For a peripheral?   Specifically, the Oculus Rift headset with its built-in headphones and microphone, an Xbox One controller, (VR game) Lucky's Tale and the Oculus Remote (Oculus's first-gen control solution - the Touch controllers will be out later this year).

But no, man.  If that's what you're thinkin', I'm prepared to suggest that you ain't thinkin' straight.  First of all, don't imagine for a second that Sony's VR option is gonna' retail for less than $400.  Second, six hundred bucks isn't meant to be a price for John and Jane Everyperson.  Virtual Reality isn't for John and Jane, yet.  It's for people who already have a PC gaming rig worth several thousand dollars on their desks, and are chomping at the bit to experience the Next Big Thing.  It's for the people who bought their PS4s day one and take days off work to play the big games.

And this is just the first iteration of (what many hope will be) that next big thing.  Think about how much a VCR cost when VCRs first came out.  Or how much an iPhone was when it launched in '07?

Like, say, the Vita at launch, Oculus Rift owners are paying a pretty premium to be among the first in the public at large to play with the next high-end toy.  That's easily worth six hundred bucks to a great many people.

VR may well prove the type of generational leap that gaming as a whole has lacked since the PS1/N64 days.  I'm not a believer, yet, but I'd sure like to be.

Who's up for a press release?

Oculus Rift Pre-Orders Now Open, First Shipments March 28 

We’re excited to announce that Rift is now available to pre-order for $599 USD on Oculus.com and it will ship to 20 countries starting March 28. People have been dreaming about immersive high-end VR for decades, and we’re thrilled to share Rift with you this March.

Rift will also be available in limited locations at select retailers starting in April.

What’s in the box?

Rift includes the headset with built-in headphones and mic, sensor, and an Xbox One controller. The controller is perfect for a variety of games, including Lucky’s Tale, the amazing VR platformer developed by Playful, that we’re including free with every Rift.

Rift also includes the Oculus Remote. The Oculus Remote is a new input device we designed to make it simple and intuitive to navigate VR experiences. With Remote, you can easily browse the Oculus store, explore 360 video content in Oculus Video, or experience a wide range of VR games and entertainment. It is the easiest way to introduce non-gamers to VR.

When you pre-order Rift, you’ll also secure your place in line for Touch pre-orders later this year.

Compelling, made-for-VR content

All Rift pre-orders include access to EVE: Valkyrie through the Founder’s Pack, which will include exclusive in-game content, founder status in Valkyrie, and much more. Details about everything included in the EVE: Valkyrie Founder’s Pack will be revealed soon.

Lucky’s Tale and EVE: Valkyrie are just two of the amazing titles you’ll be able to play when Rift launches — dozens of full-length, AAA games designed for VR are coming to Rift, with more than 100 titles available by the end of 2016, including Minecraft!

We’ve been working with some of the top developers in the industry to create incredible, new made for VR games and experiences. In 2016 alone, Oculus Studios will introduce more than 20 games that are coming exclusively to Oculus this year, including Rockband VR by Harmonix, Edge of Nowhere by Insomniac, and The Climb by Crytek. We’ll be announcing additional titles soon!

Is your PC Oculus Ready?

For the full Rift experience, we recommend the following PC system:

• Graphics card: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater
• Processor: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
• Memory: 8GB+ RAM
• Output: Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
• Input: 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port
• Operating system: Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer

You can also check whether your current PC meets our recommended specification right now with the new Oculus compatibility tool.

Oculus Ready PCs

If you need a new PC to power your Rift, Oculus Ready PCs will be certified to meet our recommended system specification and have been tested by Oculus to ensure they deliver a great experience with Rift.

Bundles that include an Oculus Ready PC and a Rift will be available for pre-order in February starting at $1499.

If you pre-order Rift today, you’ll be able to order an Oculus Ready PC at the special bundle price, and of course, your Rift ship date won’t change.

This is just the beginning. We can’t wait to share more about the incredible games and experiences coming to Rift this year. Touch will ship in the second half of the year and will unlock entirely new interactions that let people take their VR experiences further than ever before.

Thank you for being part of this landmark moment in VR. We’ll see you in Rift.

6 comments:

  1. This is the first rendition of bleeding-edge tech, of course the cost is going to be crazy. The question on my mind is when this kind of tech will be on price level that doesn't make people spit out their drinks; on the same level of purchasing a console today.

    Side Note: I can bring in some vaguely interesting insight into the price of the PC+Oculus bundle. Coincidentally, my PC happens to exactly meet to requirements. It's total cost was $900USD~
    So that $1500 is exactly the kind of cost it takes to experience the VR headset today, bundle or not.

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    1. For PC gamers out there, I worry that the experience won't be... ideal with the minimum requirements. I'm hoping it's been in development so long that even if you just meet the minimum specs, it'll still be like... life-changing.

      Which makes me worry, further, about PS VR. I mean how hot can it actually be with system specs that were basically obsolete when it launched, two years ago?

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    2. Also is your PC custom or off the shelf?

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    3. Also is your PC custom or off the shelf?

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    4. Custom. I bought the parts individually and built it a year ago. An Oculus-ready computer at that price can be appealing for people with little time and a lot of money.

      I have the same concerns as you do. We don't know exactly how good the "minimum" experience is yet. Do those minimum specs just barely get the thing working? Or are those the minimum to have a fantastic experience? How long will those specs even last as the minimum?

      I have no idea how Sony is going to pull it off on the PS4. At this point, this sounds like a task for the PS5. Part of me is wishing Sony pulls off a miracle and somehow makes PS VR an affordable, magical experience.

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    5. Well, judging by the graphics on all those PSX VR announcementa, it's being achieved by going back to PS2-era graphics in high res...

      <--- Debbie Downer.

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