For years now, we’ve been hearing that virtual reality is the trippy, three-dimensional future of entertainment, but so far all the talk has been purely theoretical. Oculus Rift, the headset that first sparked interest in VR back in 2012 following a surprisingly successful Kickstarter campaign, has spent years under wraps. Even an infusion of billions of dollars from Facebook didn’t speed up development. Oculus briefly sold unfinished “development” headsets back in 2012 and 2014, but since then there’s been no way to get your hands on an Oculus Rift.
Well, that changes now. Yesterday Oculus VR announced that they’re finally shipping “Kickstarter edition” headsets to folks who backed Oculus’ original crowdfunding campaign, and today, pre-orders for the finished consumer model of Oculus Rift opened. The headsets will cost a whopping $600, which is quite a bit more than Oculus VR’s initial promises (originally they said Oculus Rift would be in the $300-400 range). According to Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey, Oculus Rift is being sold at a loss, despite its bloated price tag.
The first Oculus Rifts will begin shipping March 28, although initial stocks have already sold out. If you pre-order an Oculus Rift now, you’ll have to wait until May before it ships.
Oculus Rift will come bundled with two games, the rather goofy-looking 3D platformer Lucky’s Tale and shoot ’em up Eve: Valkyrie. You’ll also get an Xbox One controller and an Oculus remote. The dedicated Oculus Rift controller won’t be coming until the later half of 2016. Of course, you’ll also need a fairly beefy computer to power Oculus Rift and its games.
Is VR the future? The jury’s still out, but this version of the Oculus Rift certainly isn’t going to change the world. A $600 peripheral just isn’t going to sell to anybody but hardened tech heads. Once Oculus drops to about a fifth that price, we can talk. What do you folks think? Interested in VR? Did you suddenly become less interested once Oculus announced its price tag? Or were you expecting the headset to be even more expensive?