The good news- Oculus Rift is almost here, and it promises to be an incredible, best in class product. The bad news- it’s expensive. Far more expensive than we were, honestly, led to believe when inventor Palmer Luckey, and Oculus themselves, hinted that it would be within the same price range as second generation development kit (which was $350).
A lot of people are understandably angry- still others are swallowing their disappointment, possibly in the belief that first generation products are, by necessity, expensive, and probably hoping for a cheaper SKU in the future, maybe something that trims down some of the features and fat.
But that, according to Palmer Luckey, is simply not going to happen, not with the first generation Oculus Rift product, anyway.
“Very unlikely for the first generation of Rift,” said Luckey in a Reddit AMA. “A standardized system is in the best interest in developers trying to reach the widest audience, and we cannot significantly reduce the cost without dramatically reducing quality.”
I understand his point- the Oculus Rift is launching a new medium entirely, and it is important to have developers on board- which can be made easier by having a standardized spec for them to target. It’s disappointing, but then again, it makes sense, too.
Maybe the second generation Oculus product can be cheaper, then. According to Luckey, a second generation Oculus might launch pretty soon- in fact, he hinted that Oculus might get product refreshes regularly.
“Somewhere between a console and a mobile phone, much closer to a mobile phone,” said Luckey, talking about how long an Oculus ‘generation’ might last. “The PC spec for Rift won’t change during the 1st generation.”
I guess for others who wanted an affordable VR product, the best bet is for to wait for the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR to show their hands.