If you’ve already built an Oculus-ready PC and are wondering how much to budget for the Oculus Rift headset itself, the answer is likely north of $350.
“We’re roughly in that ballpark … but it’s going to cost more than that,” Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey told Road to VR, when asked if the consumer version of Oculus would have a similar price tag to the company’s developer kits. The Oculus DK 2 kit cost $350, while the original TK 1 cost $300.
Last year, Oculus said the consumer version of Rift would cost somewhere between $200 and $400. Luckey’s comments suggest that the final price will land on the higher end of that spectrum, or even beyond it. He explained that the headset uses a lot of custom hardware, as the company didn’t want to compromise on quality just to hit a lower price point.
“It would really suck if you put something out there and people were like ‘Ah man … the Rift is good, but it’s not quite there’, you know?” Luckey said. “… I can’t tell you that it’s going to be $350, and I would say I think people are going to be happy with what they get for the price because I really do think it’s going to be that best VR headset you can buy.”
Oculus is targeting an first quarter of 2016 launch for the headset. The unique two-piece Oculus Touch controller is scheduled for Q2 , so early adopters may have to shell out even more when it arrives. All told, buyers who don’t already have a capable PC rig should expect to spend at least $1500 for the consumer Oculus VR experience.
Why this matters: Luckey has spoken in the past about the importance of getting VR right out of the gate, because “ bad VR is the only thing that can kill off VR.” While Oculus has partnered with Samsung on a much cheaper VR headset for smartphones, the Rift is the main attraction, and the company understandably doesn’t want to cut corners with its first release.