Yesterday was an interesting day for the many gamers around the world that have been anxiously awaiting the Oculus Rift and VR in general. With the opening of pre-orders yesterday, Oculus announced their VR headset would run a hefty $600, a price that left more than a few scratching their heads, even as the pre-orders sold out.
Speaking last fall, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey responded to questions about the price, specifically if the Rift would be over $350, saying, “You know, I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. We’re roughly in that ballpark… but it’s going to cost more than that.”
After the reveal of the real price yesterday however, Palmer Luckey has issued an apology for misleading gamers with the previous statement. Responding to questions in a Reddit AMA, Luckey said, “I handled the messaging poorly.” Following the announcement that the Rift plus a Rift capable PC would run roughly $1500, he grew frustrated with the sudden ‘Rift is $1500’ headline. “My answer was ill-prepared, and mentally, I was contrasting $349 with $1500, not our internal estimate that hovered close to $599 – that is why I said it was in roughly the same ballpark.”
Luckey continued, “Later on, I tried to get across that the Rift would cost more than many expected, in the past two weeks particularly. There are a lot of reasons we did not do a better job of prepping people who already have high end GPUs, legal, financial, competitive, and otherwise, but to be perfectly honest, our biggest failing was assuming we had been clear enough about setting expectations.”
He even took it a step further, explaining, “To be perfectly clear, we don’t make money on the Rift… It is expensive, but for the $599 you spend, you get a lot more than spending $599 on pretty much any other consumer electronics devices… There are a lot of mainstream devices in that price-range, so as you have said, our failing was in communication, not just price.”
Oculus Rift is the first major VR headset to receive a price point, and will be releasing March 28th, with a limited retail release following in April. PlayStation VR still has yet to receive a price, but it is unlikely it will aim for the same high-end market as Oculus. What do you think of the Rift’s price point? Were you surprised? Let us know in the comments.