Oculus still isn't ready to nail down a price for its consumer-ready Rift headset, but company founder Palmer Luckey says it will be more expensive than the developer kits. Luckey told Road to VR that you should expect the final price to come in north of $350 (which you can still order a Development Kit 2 model for), though it will still be somewhere in that "ballpark."
You might expect a mass-production version of the virtual reality headset to cost less than its specialist-targeted prototypes. But rather than cutting costs with less-expensive components, Oculus is more focused on making the final product set a new high-water mark for VR.
"[I]t's just the reality that when you make this thing you have to decide what tradeoffs you're going to make; are you going to optimize for absolute lowest price possible, even if it's gonna be a lower quality experience?" Luckey asked. "Or do you try to say 'you know what, this is the first consumer VR headset that we're going to be pushing out to people.' We need to put a stake in the ground and say 'this is the best possible experience that we were able to make.' No compromises were made in terms of quality."
Or in other words:
Luckey added that Oculus collaborating on products like the smartphone-powered Samsung Gear VR, which costs $199.99 for an "Innovator Edition," also makes the virtual reality experience accessible for more people. That means the onus isn't solely on Rift to (re)introduce the world to VR - just to provide the best possible experience.
Sony has confirmed that PlayStation VR's price will be comparable to a new platform, so it sounds like it and Rift won't differ wildly there. Now we just have to figure out if HTC Vive will land in the same metaphorical money park when it, too, hits stores next year.
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