Wednesday 26 July 2017

Oculus Rift won't earn a profit

Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift

Paul Mallon

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is coming very soon and the price has just been announced to general cries of anguish from wallets everywhere

Yesterday, the team behind the Oculus Rift VR headset announced the exact pricing for the device, a cool $600. And it seems like this was a higher cost than many were anticipating.

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey took to Reddit for an AMA as soon as possible and made a number of things clear, including the fact that the information from the company around pricing in particular has been a bit confusing. That's partly due to his own comments in 2015, references a cost of $350 or a little above that.

It's also very important to note that the $600 won't be the only cost associated with the Rift - users will also need a very high spec PC in order to run the thing. That's because they'll have to output two high definition images at the same time, and more importantly throw out 120 frames a second for both eyes to ensure smooth motion. That's a lot of processing power, and the rig required will likely cost more than $1000.

Those are big figures but it's not entirely unexpected. For one, the people who get on board at the very start of VR are going to be those who are particularly interested in gadgets and technology, and they'll likely already have a fast PC and the knowledge to upgrade their existing machine. And early adopters always pay a premium.

Luckey also wanted to make it clear that users will be getting a huge amount of high end hardware for that money, more than something like a premium phone. In fact, the company won't be turning a profit on the Oculus Rift as the units cost so much to make.

The Oculus Rift is available for pre-order now for $599 ex vat, shipping and import duty. Include all of those and you're looking at cost of over €700. And do be aware that you'll need a pretty powerful PC to run it, there's an app on the official site which will let you know if it's up to scratch.

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