Almost four years after the initial Kickstarter campaign to create the first Oculus Rift developer kit, consumers can pre-order, and eventually receive, the final version of Oculus Rift.
What some may not like is that it seems to have a price point that is anywhere from 30% to 100% higher than most expected ($300-$450), as the Oculus Rift will cost $599 (our editor-in-chief guessed correctly!), more than any of the developer kits so far. What you get for $599 is not just the headset itself, but also a sensor, the Oculus Remote, the necessary cables, an Xbox One controller, and two games: EVE: Valkyrie and Lucky's Tale.
The oddest one of the bunch must be the Xbox One controller, as it’s not the company’s own controller, but instead a third-party controller from another company. It’s unlikely Oculus (now owned by Facebook) has some kind of deal with Microsoft to buy its controllers, so the company must be purchasing them at full retail price, which further bumps up the cost of the Oculus Rift package.
Although the price seems relatively high compared to expectations, it’s likely not going to deter many of those who were going to be early adopters no matter what the price. The Oculus Rift is the device that restarted the virtual reality dream after two decades of stagnation, and many people are going to want to experience modern virtual reality for themselves.
Those that will want to buy an Oculus Rift will also have to ensure that they have a powerful enough PC to play all of the Rift games. Laptops are in no way supported. The official recommended specifications are the following:
Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greaterCPU: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greaterMemory: 8GB+ RAMVideo Output: free HDMI 1.3 outputUSB Ports: 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 portOS: Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer
There’s also a non-supported and non-recommended list of specifications for people who will be happy to buy an Oculus Rift only to have basic experiences such as watching immersive videos, VR cinema, or running a VR desktop or app.
Video Card: GTX 650 / AMD 7750 desktop GPU or better and newerUSB Ports: 2x USB 3.0 portsVideo Output: free HDMI 1.3 outputOS: Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer
The expected shipping date for these pre-orders is April 2016, and only one Oculus Rift can be bought per customer for now. Those that pre-order will also be the first in line for the pre-order of Oculus Rift’s own Touch controllers.
As a way to make up with its initial 7,000 or so Kickstarter backers, many of which felt “betrayed” when Oculus sold itself to Facebook, the team will send every one of those backers a free Oculus Rift package.
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware. You can follow him at @lucian_armasu.