Oculus Rift Release Date Not Set, But Creator Says Price Will Be Affordable, Possibly Free One Day [VIDEO]
One thing that's kept virtual reality headsets from becoming a, well, reality, is the price. It's simply not cheap to make small screens with enough resolution and a high enough framerate to limit motion sickness, although of course it's getting cheaper all the time. While the Oculus Rift developer's kit rings in at a low $300 the consumer version is going to use different components, although the developer is promising it will be equally affordable.
"[Price] is to be determined but what I've always said is that if VR isn't affordable it might as well not exist for most people. We're not looking to make a rich person's toy, we're not looking to make a research tool," Oculus Rift founder Palmer Luckey told GamesIndustry International. "We want to make a consumer VR headset that pretty much anyone can afford."
Amen, sir. This is going to be the game-changer that the next-gen consoles simply aren't, the next leap forward in technology that makes people excited about games once again and drives a whole new generation of kids to become developers.
Back in July VR CEO Brendan Iribe said that the company is targeting a $300 price point for the consumer version, much like the price developers have to pay to get their hands on a development kit. But that's not the end goal- over time and through subsidized offers the company would like to see the headset become free one day. "The lower the price point, the wider the audience," Iribe told Edge. "We have all kinds of fantasy ideas. We'd love it to be free one day, so how do we get it as close to free as possible? Obviously it won't be that in the beginning. We're targeting the $300 price point right now but there's the potential that it could get much less expensive with a few different relationships and strategies."
Of course, they're not the only game in town. Sony has just announced their plans to develop a Playstation virtual reality headset and you'd be dumb if you didn't think that Microsoft wasn't up to the same thing. Oculus Rift is doing it first and there doesn't seem to be a single person that's tried it who hasn't become convinced that this is the future, so let's hope they'll get it out to us as soon as possible.
If you'd like to get your hands on this amazing new technology right now you better get on it soon- they're not making any more dev kits of the current iteration and it won't be until the summer that they release a second edition of the dev kit, and who knows how much longer until the consumer version hits after that.