During the Oculus Connect 4 developer conference, Oculus announced that it’s finally ready to take on the corporate world. The company revealed the Oculus Rift Business Bundle and its plans to push VR into the business environment.
Oculus spent the first year and a half of the Rift’s life with a strong focus on improving the experience for gamers. Oculus invested heavily in content creators to ensure that Rift owners have a wide variety of VR experiences to enjoy, and it put forth tremendous effort in improving the overall Rift experience by adding support for Touch motion controllers and room-scale tracking.
Now that Oculus has a solid catalog of content, and its virtual environment is stable and feature-rich (and even more so when the new version of Home is made available in December), the company is ready to focus on bringing the Rift brand to the corporate environment. The company sees the Rift as a productivity tool for businesses, and it expects that many of them would see value in VR for collaboration and training, although it also supports the use of Rift headsets for public demonstrations.
Better Late Then Never
Oculus is a little late to the party with its business VR efforts, and it’s now playing catch up. HTC rolled out the $1,200 HTC Vive Business Edition (BE) in June 2016, which offered additional face cushions and a commercial license warranty that allows companies to make a profit from demoing the Vive headset (like VR arcades) without losing warranty coverage. HTC also offers a dedicated support line for Vive BE owners.
Oculus’s Rift Business Bundle offers similar benefits to the Vive BE package. It includes a Rift headset with two extra face cushions, two Touch controllers, an Oculus remote, and three Constellation sensors. Rift Business Bundle owners also get access to “preferential customer care.”
The Rift Business Bundle also includes a commercial warranty and a commercial use license that permits you to use the Rift hardware in a commercial setting. These commercial agreements could potentially open avenues for VR arcades to install Rift hardware at their attractions, which are currently dominated by HTC Vive systems.
The Oculus Rift Business Bundle is available for $900, which seems like a deal because it's $300 less than the Vive Business Edition. But when you consider that the standard Rift and Touch controllers now sell for $399, you’re paying a significant premium for an extra sensor, a couple of foam pads, and a license to use the hardware with warranty coverage.You also get the customer support, although Oculus hasn't detailed what exactly that entails.
The Oculus Rift Business bundle is available now.