The lights are on
As promised, Oculus has opened pre-orders for its first consumer Rift virtual reality headset. Now that you can actually lock your order in, we finally know one of the most important details: just how much it will cost.
In order to bring home the Rift, you’ll need to budget $600. When we spoke with Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe at E3, he reiterated a previous statement about what interested purchasers should expect to pay for a new PC that supports VR and the headset itself.
“I want to see, and hope to see, full package Rift plus PC for even less, for down to $1,300 or $1,200.,” Iribe told us. “The $1,500 statement was around what people can expect to spend for a full package at retail. You’ll buy parts a lot cheaper. If you do it yourself and you’re putting together your own PC, you’ll be able to do it for a lot less than $1,500. This is something we’re really pushing on our retail partners and our OEM PC partners, we’re going to be out there heavily promoting it at $1,500 or less for the full package. Rift is only a small fraction of that. Most of that cost is the PC.”
Based on the Rift price, you’re looking at a PC in the neighborhood of $900 to hit Iribe’s mark. If you’re looking to purchase parts to build your own from scratch, that comes down to $600 - $700.
The minimum spec for the Rift has only slightly changed since it was announced last year. The difference is the increase in USB ports from two to four to account for additional devices connected (an Xbox One controller or wireless adapter, for instance).
Pre-orders for the Rift include EVE Valkyrie, and everyone that purchases one will also get Playful’s 3D platformer, Lucky’s Tale. You won’t be charged for the Rift until it ships in March, and pre-orders won’t “sell out.” If you don’t get in on the first wave, your ship date will simply be pushed later.
You can pre-order yours on Oculus’ website (if you can get it to load). You can also read more about it and the other VR contenders in our January issue.
Update: The first wave of Oculus Rifts have sold through, with shipping for additional orders now arriving in April. Oculus says that 20 Rift-exclusive games will launch in 2016, including Insomniac's Edge of Nowhwere, Harmonix's Rock Band VR, and Crytek's The Climb. Minecraft will also be out this year for RIft.
The bundle will also now include a remote for navigation. Oculus says that this is intended to ease non-gamers into VR without having to force them to use a controller.
One of the things to note is that Oculus has confirmed that, despite its absence from the image above and the related blog post, the Rift does come with an Xbox One wireless adapter so you can use the included controller without a cord. That is an additional $25 value.
Rift-compatible PC bundles that include the computer and the Rift will be available for order in February. If you pre-order a rift and later choose to buy a bundle, you'll keep your place in line. For those wondering if your existing PC is compatible, here are the required specs:
There's also a tool you can download and run that will test your system and let you know how you fare.
Our Take$600 puts the Oculus Rift in PS3 territory, and that didn't work out terribly well for Sony. This is $100 more than I anticipated, and it also means that new PC owners budgeting against the $1,500 off-the-shelf estimate have less to work with. You can likely find a PC that fits for the remaining $900, but the chance of it lasting you terribly long before an upgrade has diminished.
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