Oculus Rift Now Available For Pre-Order For $599, Will Ship In April

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.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • overgrower
    they should mention the price for European orders, 741 euro with shipping which is 798.63 usd and that's before customs which I bet will make us pay taxes again.
  • Albert Rampo
    with that price range almost everyone is going to be waiting for the price of their competitors myself included ...i hope the price is right for the Vive
  • nitrium
    I already have an XBox controller and really don't need or want another one. I assume they'll be offering the Rift without one at some point? The whole things seems to be a more than slightly overpriced. Oculus has definitely opened the market very wide for cheaper alternatives (i.e. $300 knock-offs), that's for sure.
  • whiteodian
    Damn, that is pricey. I was very tempted to pre-order, but hard to just jump on it without ever trying VR first. Pre-order shipments are now back to May. Wait or don't wait... I'm such a tech junkie.
  • clonazepam
    I have way too many questions to just jump into a pre-order.
  • dark_lord69
    I clicked immediately and it said March. Then I saw the price and closed the window.
  • DrakeFS
    I do find it weird that the kit comes with a controller. They should have saved some money and had a no-controller kit. $600 is too steep for me to preorder, will have to wait for reviews and a kit without the controller. If this is a wireless XBOne controller, it is only compatible with Win 10.
  • LastErr
    I will likely wait for wider FOV HMDs like StarVR to be more common.
  • kancaras
    they should mention the price for European orders, 741 euro with shipping which is 798.63 usd and that's before customs which I bet will make us pay taxes again.
    Depends on where youre from, it varies from 650 euros to 699 to 741. And yeah, thats before shipping and customs. So total could be 1000 euros. I think im gonna pass..
  • daworstplaya
    I was so excited for this, checking the Oculus site daily and was expecting the price to be $500 or below since DK2 was $350. Having never experienced VR, I was willing to make that investment on a pre-order and be an early adopter ignoring the competition (Sony Morpheus and HTC VIVE alternatives).

    I got to Oculus's site in the morning and when I saw the price at $599 and $30 shipping for delivery in April/May, I put my creditcard back in my wallet and closed the site. It's not that I can't afford it, it's that I feel that is too much to pay for something that has limited support. I may or may not use a few times and let it sit in the corner and I don't want it to be a $600 costly mistake.

    Ultimately the market will decide if it was a smart move to release it at $600+. I'm hoping they made the wrong move as people will vote with their wallets. But now I'm more interested in the alternatives.