After lots of speculations, Facebook owned Oculus has announced that the consumer version will be finally available for pre-order. US residents can get it for $599 while those living in the UK can get it for £499. Shipping is expected to start at the end of Q1 of 2016.
The virtual reality headset was crowdfunded in 2012 and it will be one of the first VR headsets to be available commercially. The official blog post of Oculus states that shipping will start on 28th March. However, later another release stated that from April, the devices will be available “in limited locations at select retailers.”
What will you Get in the Pre-order Set?
The pre-order set will include the Rift, an Xbox One wireless controller for Windows, games like Eve: Valkyrie and Lucky’s Tale and the Oculus Remote. In February, a set that contains a computer perfect for running the Rift will also be available for pre-order. It will cost consumers $1,499.
According to Nvidia, graphics chip manufacturer, only 13m PCs or below 1 percent of the global PC market, can run virtual reality applications on headset like Valve and Rift. With the compatible computer set, consumers can experience virtual reality without difficulty.
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The Oculus Touch Controller will give a more interactive control system, but it will not be included in the pre-order set that will be shipped in March. It will be available only in the second half of 2016. However, those who have pre-ordered will get the controller first, after its availability.
Will It Win Over the Masses?
Whether the Oculus Rift will be popular among the consumers or not, will be determined by the pricing. The high price was not expected by many. With almost double the prices of videogame consoles like the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, it can be quite tricky for Oculus to become a popular choice among consumer.
Eric Handler, analyst at MKM Partners said that the high price might reduce the mass-market appeal of the device, at least initially. He said “Price is always a big gating factor. Right now you can make case … that you get a lot more value in owning one of the current generation consoles.”
Dan Page of Opposable Games and co-organizer of the VR World Congress, said regarding the speculation that had been going on about the price of the Oculus Rift: “The wonderful Oculus subreddit community had its own straw poll which averaged out at $476.29. It will be interesting to see what [the $600 price point] means for the PC market. It’s likely Oculus-exclusive titles simply aren’t going to have that big a market for a good while, although we’ve always known that was going to be true to some extent. A slow uptake on PC VR is a clear win for Sony – even if its headset is a similar price to the Rift, the PS4 already has a huge install base and new buyers will have to spend significantly less for a very good VR experience.”
Only time will tell whether Oculus Rift can become popular among consumers with its high price tag.
What do you think?
Do you think the Oculus Rift will become a hit? Will it work with its high price tag? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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