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Oculus founder admits he handled previous price messaging for Rift headset 'poorly'

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset will cost $599, but previous statements from Oculus founder Palmer Luckey indicated the headset would cost "roughly in the $350 ballpark". In a Reddit AMA session this week, Luckey apologized and admitted that his statements on the Rift pricing before this week were handled "poorly".

Palmer said that those statement were based in part on previous pricing estimates for buying a PC that would be bundled with an Oculus Rift, which the company stated would be around $1,500. In his AMA session, Luckey wrote:

"In a September interview, during the Oculus Connect developer conference, I made the infamous "roughly in that $350 ballpark, but it will cost more than that" quote. As an explanation, not an excuse: during that time, many outlets were repeating the "Rift is $1500!" line, and I was frustrated by how many people thought that was the price of the headset itself. My answer was ill-prepared, and mentally, I was contrasting $349 with $1500, not our internal estimate that hovered close to $599 - that is why I said it was in roughly the same ballpark.""Later on, I tried to get across that the Rift would cost more than many expected, in the past two weeks particularly. There are a lot of reasons we did not do a better job of prepping people who already have high end GPUs, legal, financial, competitive, and otherwise, but to be perfectly honest, our biggest failing was assuming we had been clear enough about setting expectations. Another problem is that people looked at the much less advanced technology in DK2 for $350 and assumed the consumer Rift would cost a similar amount, an assumption that myself (and Oculus) did not do a good job of fixing. I apologize."

Pre-orders for the Oculus Rift that are made now will ship in June, after the first batches of the headset that will ship in March and April sold out earlier this week, Besides the headset itself, the shipment box will also include an Xbox One controller, a small Oculus Remote, and two games: Lucky's Tale and EVE: Valkyrie.

Pre-order the Oculus Rift for $599 (opens in new tab)

Source: Reddit

26 Comments
  • Like a ******
  • 740€ so the 599$ is peanuts
  • $599 plus tax depending upon the state's sales tax. From what I understand that 740 includes all taxes. The initial price point before taxes (ie VAT, and whatever other taxes you guys have) for Europe is the equivalent of $599
  • 740€ is like $800. Nowhere in the US has 35% sales tax (usually in the 10% range) so it's still a good bit cheaper here.
  • Yes, but VAT is typically 20-25% in Europe. Take that out and it's fairly close. It's not about what taxes we don't pay in North America (where sales taxes range from 0% to 15.5% returning on where you live), it's how much in hidden sales taxes Europeans do pay.
  • VAT covers national taxes though. Sales tax usually only covers city/state taxes in the US. So add 16% for Medicare/Medicaid/Unemployment etc to compare.
  • well lets wait for the PS4 VR headset. The price will be cheaper. If the quality is good Sony will make more money with it
  • Yeah, but the PS4 isn't gonna drive it and expect to have near the quality.
  • Sony won't make more money. Oculus rift is simply more extensible than Sony VR that only works on PS4... how many millions are using PS4 compare to the ones using 7,8 and 10? yeah you need a decently powerful computer. but if you care about this and oculus and what it can do, you wouldn't have a problem getting the minimum requieremts. that are not that expensive. the most expensive part would be the GPU and that's "NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater" ​which aren't that much if you buy the minimum. But you can do more things, play more games with oculus, do more things that don't have to do with games like making a VR archviz. SO I don't know how you can compare both things, you can even use Oculus with xbox one through the streaming feature. that's one more plus. so the prices might be highter... I haven't heard about PS4 VR price... but you can do more with this, and you can surely play more games because people have done crazy things with this.
  • Yeaa tripping over his words. Should have just said how much it was going to cost in the first place. Less hype but also less disappointment
  • Do you need high spec computer to use this thingy with Xbox as well?
  • It won't work with Xbox, it needs way more GPU power. We probably won't see console VR happen until there's hardware that supports foveated rendering.
  • But Sony is about to release VR headset that works with console? Is MS again late in the game?
  • hololens ms is ahead again
  • Hololens is completely different technology.
  • He didn't say it was the same. he only said that Microsoft is ahead of many companies with a different technology, it doesn't mean it should be the same technology but Microsoft has a AR technology that kicks other AR technolgy and even VR technology in many aspects. So Microsoft is not late like the person avobe him said, it's just taking a different path.
  • I'm not sure that Microsoft ever released the spec's of the app that they mentioned at that Oculus event. Technically it should require less since you are only processing the video stream from the XB1, and controller input from the PC, placed in a Virtual TV room.  There are a few apps on Oculus Share that do video streaming, and they require much much less than running Elite Dangerous for example. I'm sure Oculus set the requirements high because they want everyone to have a seamless experience, but not all games will require those kind of specs.  It seems silly that they would put a hardware lock in place, but until someone posts a hands-on review, we won't know for sure.
  • yes. they already released the specs long time ago... you can use it by the xbox app and the streaming service But these are the specs they recommend. ​For the full Rift experience, we recommend the following system: Video Card NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater CPU Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater Memory 8GB+ RAM Video Output Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output USB Ports 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port OS Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer  
  • I can't even follow the logic of whatever he's trying to say.
  • Ya think?
  • I'm going to rush tight out and buy one asap. Oh, did I handle that poorly. Still no medical reports coming out on this device, that's being kept very quiet. So bad for your eyes.
  • Beh, a fumble for sure, but I think the Rift is very well priced for what it is. Look at the cose of your average high quality 2K monitor vs this thing. Juyst my opinnion of course. -- J
  • Im over it... Lol. It's not like they changed the price during pre-orders like MS did with their surface hub.
  • If he doesn't know the difference between $350 and $600 he shouldn't be running the company!
  • This just shows hololense will be $$$$$$$ and the normal average person cant buy it
  • The fact that every Oculus Rift comes with an XBox One controller is HUGE win for Microsoft.