Oculus Rift announced two things today:
1. Pre-orders for the virtual reality headset would be taken today with a March ship date. It will ship to 20 countries.
2. The price in the U.S is $599
This announcement created the biggest peak in global internet mentions (81,241, 86% from Twitter) over the last 365 days. It was 52% bigger than the 2nd biggest peak.
The conversation was an international one as well, although the U.S did account for 37% of mentions.
The 2nd biggest peak from last June (42,947 mentions) was when they first showed the device in action at a media event.
What did people talk about?
At least 45% of mentions were about price. I say at least because I searched for mentions of “Oculus Rift” that also mentioned £ OR $ OR ¥ OR €. There were plenty of other conversations that didn’t mention the price explicitly or left the dollar, pound, euro, or yen sign off.
That thud was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor. That’s… a LOT more expensive than I was expecting. I’ll get a second graphics card before I ever get the Rift, I think, unless the prices come down dramatically in the next few months. $600 USD is quite the penny. Source
Perception was mostly negative with people citing different reasons for their reaction:
- They were under the impression it would be in the $200 to $300 dollar range.
- They thought the controller and games included inflated the price too high.
- They could use that $600 instead to upgrade their their current PC.
It should also be mentioned that the pre-order started with a March ship date, but was pushed back to April, then May, now currently June. People are buying at this price.
It will be interesting see how the Oculus sells since it requires a substantial PC to run the device, which requires additional costs.
Well my $1,000+ gaming/video editing PC can’t run a $600 Oculus Rift. I think it might be game over for Oculus.
Takeaway: Competitors like Sony and HTC have an opportunity to compete on price.
Here are some smaller themes:
Waiting for games
I have no hype for the Oculus Rift because is missing the games to back it. Give me a MechWarrior game, then we’ll talk hype.
You want me to buy an Oculus Rift? Show me games for it that I can’t play anywhere else.
…are we gonna see more Oculus Rift games?
Waiting to see what other manufacturers come out with
I think Oculus Rift should offer a stripped down version w/o the games and controller. I am waiting for HTC Vive though.
The Oculus Rift price is a tad off-putting. Will definitely wait to see the HTC vive pricing now.
Sony’s Play Station VR
On one hand, I’m not exactly shocked Oculus Rift is $600. On the other, I’m totally bummed because I’m going to pass. Your move, Sony.