The Oculus Rift price and pre-orders launched earlier this week and the company had a couple surprises when pre-orders rolled out.
First, Oculus announced a wonderful surprise for Kickstarter backers. The company said that any person who backed the Oculus campaign for a DK1 Rift will receive their own retail Oculus Rift, free of charge. The second surprise wasn't so pleasant; the price of the Rift is higher than many people hoped for and expected, coming in at $599. Both of these announcements came as complete surprises (there were no leaks at all) and I had the chance to find out why.
I met Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus, on the show floor at the Oculus booth at CES 2016, and he offered some insight into how the company pulled that off. Iribe told me that both decisions were made at the last possible moment. Oculus locked in the price just two days before the pre-order launch and the choice to give Kickstarter backers free retail hardware was made in the final days as well.
Iribe was very happy that these details didn't leak from the company ahead of time. He told me the easiest way to keep a secret is to not know the answer. Waiting until the last minute to finalize details prevented any kind of leaked information from leaving the company before it was time.
Iribe told me that he believed the company would have had to price the headset even higher, but Oculus worked until the final moments to figure out how it could be made at the most affordable price that the company could sustain.
Unfortunately, Iribe was ushered away quickly to meet with someone else, but not before I had the chance to ask how the higher-than-anticipated price has affected sales. He said that the pre-order rates have shown no indication that sales will be negatively impacted. He was very happy with the price point and is excited to see the hardware finally launch.
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I'm fairly certain the Touch controllers will be in the $300 range. The package you imagine would never add up. The full experience is good value at $999 or slightly less if the warranties and support are up to snuff.
Don't forget to add at least $50USD for shipping charge. :facepalm:
You will love your Xbox One controller, be encouraged to use Windows 10, its Xbox app, and happily be drawn into purchasing apps directly from the Microsoft Store. You will be so pleased with your experience. You'll have no need for Steam anymore. Oculus VR for multi-player can simply use your Username from the Oculus Store to identify you. You will love it, all thanks to that freebie xbone controller.
Tons of stuff is probably only going to support Xinput and probably "forget" about directinput as an option. So for those in Windows 10 who wish to be stubborn and use a directinput device, like a Dual Shock 4 (I love mine), you'll have to break some integral Windows features, like the Start Menu, the Xbox app, and God only knows what else I haven't discovered yet, in order to get it to work properly (emulate a 360 controller). I'm going to take a wild guess that the Touch controllers use Xinput. It's not like the Oculus supports any operating systems other than Windows 7, 8, and 10 anyway.
I used one of the earlier models at E3, and it was a cool experience. Not a 600 cool experience, but it was still fun to use. I recommend finding a way to try out VR before buying it. It isnt for everyone. I liked it, I wouldnt spend more than 100 bucks on it though.
I imagine many feel the same way, and there will be tons of content for Gear VR, that gets ported to Oculus. So, in my mind, there's a $600+ hardware purchase, a ton of $2.99 to $4.99 experiences that are just kinda 'meh'.
I need to see the retail Rift and Vive, side by side, broken down... the can do's and cannot do's of both first.
I feel like the Rift is going to be this really closed up, streamlined eco-system, designed for the folks who don't read tech websites, and get all of their information on the latest gadgets from television and Facebook.
I've experienced virtual reality space combat back in the 90s, but not recently. There are however some places whose opinions I value, so there's that if strapping one on personally beforehand doesn't pan out.