Oculus Slashes Prices for the Rift VR Headset

Oculus / Facebook announced that they are lowering the price of their headset Oculus Rift to $499 and the controllers Oculus Touch to $99. This is a $200 price cut over the prices of last year. As Jason Rubin, Oculus VP of Content mentioned on the Oculus blog, Oculus recognizes that at the moment price seems to be a substantial hurdle to the adoption of PC-based VR headsets. He sees that the cheaper the VR solution is, the higher the adoption rate. He also mentioned that mobile VR sets (typically below $100) are outselling console-based headsets (street price of $400 in the USA for the Sony VR), which in turn are outselling PC-based solutions with a price of $599 for the Oculus Rift without controllers.

It should not be forgotten that mobile VR solutions have no additional cost other than the smartphone, while the Sony Playstation 4 sells for around $400. For a PC-based VR solution one has to buy at least new and expensive graphic cards or a new system easily running up to $1,000. These are substantial price differences for the existing performance differences. Oculus sees the price for a PC based VR solution dropping around 30% over last year when one takes into account lower cost PC systems capable of driving the Oculus Rift.

In addition the firm announced that new content will be released for the Oculus Rift at a pace of one per month and acknowledged that, up to now, no real winner for driving VR adoption has emerged.

Analyst Comment

This echoes several analysts that saw the price of the Oculus Rift headset combined with the cost of a VR-ready PC as a major barrier to market volume success. It’s also interesting that Oculus is working on more content to drive interest in the gaming community. It shows that, for now, the adoption of VR technology is more or less driven only by gamers. Professional applications have not be mentioned by Oculus at all. (NH)