‘VR will become something everyone wants, before it becomes something everyone can afford.’
The amazing thing is, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR are all set to launch soon – two of those are set to launch in the first three months of 2016, while PlayStation VR is targeting a more general 2016 release date itself – and we still don’t know a lot about these products. For instance, when, exactly, do they hit the market? How much will they cost?
It is widely speculated that the companies may be withholding such details for themselves because it is now essentially a giant, three way game of chicken. All three are waiting for someone else to make the first move, announce pricing and release details, and then react accordingly, based on the reception to said details and pricing.
The issue is, time is running out here- and for Oculus, especially, which sees its Rift VR headset go up for pre-orders starting January 1, secrecy about price is no longer an option. They have to come clean.
And it appears that the price will be far more than we expected, too- Oculus founder Palmer Luckey toom to Twitter to warn that VR may end up being far more expensive than is being anticipated.
“Reminder of something I have talked about before: VR will become something everyone wants before it becomes something everyone can afford,” Luckey said on Twitter. “Future advancements and high volume will make VR available to everyone eventually, but 1st gen will be mostly early adopters. Extreme means like selling at-cost to ensure maximum market growth are not enough to align cost and desired price. Multiple custom VR panels, high end optics, and an endless list of specialized hardware and manufacturing techniques add up. The cost of development hardware that was sold at a loss using many off-the-shelf components is not a good comparison.It is no coincidence that Oculus will lead this reality check the same way we led this VR revolution – 1st to market is hard.”
Yikes. For some reason, I have a sinking feeling that the Rift headset SKU which comes with the Xbox One and Oculus Touch controllers, will retail for something crazy like $999 or something.