Following its formal presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, virtual reality fans will soon experience the Oculus Rift after years of anticipation and waiting. Oculus has also opened a pre-order page for its futuristic device.
Unfortunately, most of the people who followed the development of the device were surprised by the Oculus Rift’s $599 price tag.
This is because back in September, the device’s inventor, Palmer Luckey, stated that the Oculus Rift would be priced at $350, although the final price could be slightly higher.
But now, the pre-order price tag on the device comes out $250 more expensive.
As a result, consumers and VR fans expressed their frustration and disappointment through social media, hours after the pre-order page went live.
— Polygon (@Polygon) January 6, 2016
Luckey then tried to do some damage control by posting on the Rift’s Reddit page. He apologized that the initial price of the Oculus Rift stated last year caused some confusion to prospective buyers.
The VR headset co-founder said that he “handled the messaging poorly.”
— GameSpot (@gamespot) January 7, 2016
Earlier last year, fans wanted to know how much the Oculus Rift would cost, especially after rumors circulated that it would go as high as $1,500. At the time, Luckey wanted to set the record straight and went for the ballpark $350 amount.
To defend the pricing, Luckey said that the company will not make profit from the Oculus Rift hardware. The device includes a wired headset, a head-tracking camera, and an Xbox One gamepad.
According to the headset inventor, the component that makes it pricey is the main driver.
“Two [drivers] built-for-VR OLED displays with very high refresh rate and pixel density, a very precise tracking system, mechanical adjustment systems that must be lightweight, durable, and precise,” he said.
In addition, the device also requires ”cutting edge optics” that he claims to have a more complex development than expensive DSLR lenses.
He also emphasized that the Oculus Rift is still “obscenely cheap” for what it is – a device that creates high-end virtual reality, unlike anything people have seen before.
— PC Gamer (@pcgamer) January 6, 2016
However, the confusion has only begun for fans of the Oculus Rift and virtual reality.
During the press event at CES 2016, it was revealed that the virtual reality headset would not be a standalone device. In order for the headset to actually work, the user should have a powerful PC that is sufficient for the Oculus program.
The required specifications for a computer include an Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD R9 290 GPU, an Intel i5-4590 processor or greater, 8GB of RAM, HDMI 1.3 video output, multiple USB 3.0 ports, and a USB 2.0 port. The Oculus program would also run on Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer.
— Intel West Africa (@IntelWestAfrica) January 7, 2016
Regardless of the Oculus Rift’s price, a report claims that its ability to work perfectly should be the main focus of VR enthusiasts and potential buyers of the device. Also, the fact that the Oculus Rift is among the first real players in the VR scene means that the main goal is not to sell, but for the market to embrace it and make an entirely new industry out of it.
The Oculus Rift started as a Kickstarter campaign in 2012, but was bought by Facebook in 2014 for a staggering $2 billion. Early backers of the project were initially worried that the company had turned its back from them.
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) September 14, 2015
Oculus then stated that it would provide its backers with free VR headsets to ease their concerns.
Other manufacturers that are aiming to join Oculus Rift in the VR revolution include Sony with its Playstation VR, and HTC with the HTC Vive.
[Image via Twitter]