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Oculus founder defends price of Rift VR headset, says it is 'obscenely cheap for what it is'

Pre-orders for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset are now live, and its price was revealed as well at $599. Now the founder of Oculus, Palmer Luckey, has taken to Twitter to respond to complaints that the VR hardware is simply too expensive, stating that the Rift's price is in fact relatively cheap.

Luckey stated:

"To reiterate, we are not making money on Rift hardware. High end VR is expensive, but Rift is obscenely cheap for what it is.""It is obscenely cheap in the same way a $599 120" 4K OLED TV would be obscenely cheap - more for 599 than most products."

In related news, the official Oculus blog stated that the Rift headset would also go on sale "in limited locations at select retailers" sometime in April, but details were not announced. The first shipments of the Rift to pre-orders are scheduled to head out on March 28.

Oculus Remote

People who pre-order the Rift will get a box with the headset itself, along with an Xbox One controller with a wireless adapter. It also comes with another device, the Oculus Remote:

"The Oculus Remote is a new input device we designed to make it simple and intuitive to navigate VR experiences. With Remote, you can easily browse the Oculus store, explore 360 video content in Oculus Video, or experience a wide range of VR games and entertainment. It is the easiest way to introduce non-gamers to VR."

Oculus also offered the final recommends PC hardware specs to run games on the Rift:

  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater
  • Processor: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • Memory: 8GB+ RAM
  • Output: Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • Input: 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Pperating system: Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer

Finally, full gaming PC systems that will be bundled with an Oculus Rift will start to go on sale in February for prices beginning at $1499.

Source: Palmer Luckey (Twitter), Oculus (opens in new tab)

  • Too expensive, i am waiting for Sony VR
  • lol If you think THIS is expensive, just you wait until you see how much Sony will ask for Morpheus. Maybe it's time to remind you that Sony is the company asking for over 800€ for a smartphone (the Z5Premium) whose sole difference to it's smaller sibling the Z5 (which costs 600€ or less), is a 4K screen that you won't even be using 99% of the time.
  • I'd expect it to be around the same price (if not more)since it needs an external processing unit, the head unit, headphones, and move controllers. Throw in a game or two and you're at about the same price except you are stuck using it with only with the PS4. At least this will be able to be used with any Windows PC and probably will work with the next OS and future graphics cards. The problem with both of these systems is that they also need either a gaming PC (anywhere from $1K and up) or a PS4 (at least $300) so users without the gaming systems already will most likely balk all of it up front for $1K as an entry fee to a system with few supported games. At this point Hololens looks best to me as even if it comes in at $1K to $1.5K, you can at least take it with you as a self conatined fully functioning Windows PC that can run all of the universal apps in the Windows Store.
  • Agreed and Just to add: Yeah how about thanks, but no thanks ... especially if it cost the same as the rift, but plays indie/ps2 (if that) like games at it's best.  
  • Wow. That was great for a good laugh. If that's what they are hoping consumers will spend serious money on, they're delusional.
  • Gaming PC starts at $800 for playing with everything on high @ 1080p.. That's if you build your own
  • This has taken years to develop. If it lives up to the hype, that's a very reasonable introductory price.
  • LOL, "Sony" and "cheap" do not belong in the same sentence.
  • Sony and **** belong in the same sentence
  • you just proved the opposite.
  • Sony VR will be at least the same price. Basic difference is limited content with crappy visuals. At least your PC can handle some serious software. The PS4 can't. Morpheus will be gens behind on release for that matter... Then again, we don't mind you wasting your own money on something crappier!
  • Never buy day one. You're a beta tester. This will only get cheaper
  • Right now they're selling hardware and waiting on more content to run on it. This is a problem with this approach.
    With Halolens, although the hardware is more expensive to produce, MS can subsidize that cost with the money they intend to make with the content they produce and sell.
  • Too expensive???!?!! I was expecting this to detail at £1500+. I'm scared - at this price - that I might persuade myself to buy one. Compare the statement "this is too expensive" for this .vs. a ruddy phone. Ffs people.
  • I agree. I was expecting a $500 to $1000 price from the start. At $600, that seems good and fair to me. I still cant buy one...
  • I also agree. What were people thinking, or not? A mere high end smartphone costs more than this, and that is a standardized and mature product segment with lots of competition. I was expecting something like this to cost slightly more than a high end smartphone, not less.
  • I know. When I saw the price initially I was surprised at how inexpensive it was. If it worked with Xbox One I would pick one up.
  • Its an accessory not a standalone device. The fact that it is supercool would've persuaded people to buy better PC/laptops. But at 600 I doubt it will takeoff.
  • People are only upset because they were lead to believe it would be in the $200-400 range
  • People wouldn't be complaining about price as much if he didn't say just a week or two ago that the price would be in the "ball park" of $350. Almost double that is not what I'd say is in the same park.
  • Yeah, Palmer is kind of a 'tard for not managing the PR better on this. And for not offering a cheaper headset-only option for people who don't want/need all the bundled crap. While I agree this is still "affordable" for what it is, the high price is going to make a lot of people wait to see what the competition has to offer. And in general took a lot of wind out of the sails of getting VR off the ground. It's like watching the PS3 launch all over again. I know a lot of the people defending this are the ones who pre-ordered, and are worried that too much negative backlash is going to jeopardize industry adoption of VR, but frankly Oculus are doing a pretty good job of that on their own with the constant delays and high prices. If HTC and Sony have any brains at all, they will take advantage of this situation.
  • Wonder how much Hololense will actually cost
  • I think they said 3000$ back in October but you weren't getting just the fancy glasses(HoloLens developer kit if I remember right)
  • Since it's a dedicated PC... more.
  • Ok...people are complaining that 600 is too much? You know what? I'm not surprised. And I would be even less surprised if the same people complaining that $600 for a VR set (which is new and expensive tech) is too much are the ones that just camped out for the latest iPhone and paid upwards of 700€ for tech from 3 years ago.   These people will have a sour, sour surprise when Microsoft releases HoloLens to consumers, I can tell you that...
  • While I mostly agree with your sentiment, especially the dig at iPhone buyers, it might not be fair to compare a VR headset purchase to a phone purchase. Most people need a phone and will use it 8+ hours every day. This VR headset will be used for a few hours after opening the box and then it will collect dust until you bring it back out to show a friend who hasn't seen one yet. No one is going to use this thing on a regular basis. Don't get me wrong I think it's cool stuff and I'm not saying $600 is unreasonable given the complex hardware. But I think they are justifiably getting flac for setting expectations that Oculus would bring VR to the masses. At $600 + $1,000 for a compatible computer I have my doubts.
  • The thing is...the people who will be buying this will be gamers. No one will be buying a new PC just because of a VR set. You either already have the PC for it - and if you're a REAL PC gamer, you have - or you won't be buying this at all. And gamers will certainly find this quite cheap. I do get your point about the general masses...but $600 for a VR set is as much for the general masses as it can get presently. VR is still in development, there's still a ton of money to be put into R&D and as with any new tech, the production prices are still quite high. So to have such new tech for such a low price is actually a feat in itself. But what can you do. The people got used to entitlement. They want everything for dirt cheap. And they completely lost sense of reality in these things.
  • This^
    I absolutely agree with you, especially on the entitlement thing. I mean, $600 is actually less than I expected for the VR, but even if it wasn't, why must people keep complaining about what they can not afford? It's not like the price of a bottle of drinking water was suddenly set to $600. If you can't afford it, that does not make it 'unfair'. I also want a Ferrari, a yacht, maybe a private jet etc. etc. but can't afford them, maybe I should cry and complain that all these cool things are overpriced?
  • You mean I can't sell out my privacy to occulus and get it for an advertising subsidized price that I naively think is a good trade off? I may as well stick with whatever Google is up to with cardboard. /s
  • The smartphone comparison is more than valid. Smartphone owners pay $600-700 every 2 years.
  • Some pay $600+ every year.
  • A 1440p G-sync monitor costs about the same as OR, and those are pretty popular among gamers...
  • Have people forgotten that you can do other things with VR other than gaming? It's gonna be amazing watching movies with these headsets. Also the Xbox One is going to gain Oculus fuctionality initially just for viewing Xbox One games. I chose to preorder my Oculus over getting a new monitor for a multi-display setup.
  • You think the consumer version will cost more than a rift + the $1000 computer required to run it? No... Didn't think so. I expect the HoloLens to be $999-1299.
  • Too much, maybe.... I guess in the real world, the magic price point for this as a ADDON to a PC or console is around $300. Still for the tech, it's not that bad, as I knew someone who had the Kickstarter on it and I have heard the details on it and played with it...Very cool stuff... At $300, I would pre-order it now, at $600, I will wait for more content. There is stuff but, not a ton of it. I want a lot of choice and games for it. With limited titles right now, I am not sure I can get my $600 out of it... and I am a pretty hard core gamer...
  • This is pretty much the first VR headset being released for the general public. All other real VR headsets (I'm excluding those where you strap your phone to your head) like the HTC Vive and Sony's Morpheous haven't yet reached the public. So obviously you're also paying here the price of novelty and early adoption. And a pretty cheap one at that. As this tech advances and production costs lower, you'll see cheaper headsets come to market. Just think how much an 1080p TV costed when it first came out and how cheap they're now. Once these things massify, the production costs lower. If you can't or don't want to pay $600 for it, just wait out and VR sets will likely become more affordable and have more variety.
  • well, considering guesstimate prices at CES last year was in the $800-$1200 range, $600 doesn't sound too bad, but in the end, it's an accessory. People who don't want to spend $300+ on a graphics card probably wont bother with this as well. Now I did sit through the CES demo last year, and the Unreal engine demo BLEW me away, but not $600 away! With the dev unit ickstarters getting a final unit, the will be a few lower end/older units on the market real soon....
  • It's an accessorie like a monitor or any other screen, and we all know the price of high ends monitor. $600, or in fact $500 since it's packed with probably $100worth accessories is a good price.
  • I would have much rather paid $500 and skipped all the extra crap I don't want/need.
  • A lot of research and development went into this before the first prototype was ever built. I'm surprised it's starting under a grand.
  • That's a pretty good price point.
  • People would download an Oculus of they could.
  • Lol!
  • I'm still waiting for a car to finish downloading...
  • You should try this app, Uber. It makes cars download faster.
  • Hahaha
  • I hope Trinus VR port his app to Windows 10 Mobile
  • I'm still waiting for the next gen graphics cards before jumping into VR, but this is quite a hefty sum to pay (although still cheap compared to a pair (or more) of good displays, but those usually have better resolution too).
  • Less than 6% of steam users have a GTX 970 or better video card. A smaller % of that allready small userbase will buy a VR device and a smaller % of those users will buy a specific AAA VR game. What major developer is going to commit resources to creating VR specific gaming experiences with such a small install base? Unless you're into driving, space or flight sims there is no real killer app to sell these things. Not to mention, trying to advertise VR on TV will remain a huge challenge. Considering price and the above, high end VR will remain a niche market for power PC user for several years.
  • Hence why Oculus was funded through Kickstarter. Nobody is expecting this to become mass-market for quite some time if at all. Fortunately Oculus support can be and has been modded into both modern and older PC games, so there should be a fair few uses for it =)
  • Luckey himself said in an interview last September that he was aiming to"stay in that $200-400 price range." That is $200 off, terrible PR. At least HTC has outright said that the Vive will be at a "slightly higher price point.".
  • Okay, so he was wrong. It is what it is now. I think people should just decide whether or not it's what they want and carry on. It's simply a matter of what you believe is a good deal because a whole lot of electronics goes for way higher than $600!
  • I thought the price was fair. It's a little more than a next gen home console. What's the problem? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The fact that its a little more than a next gen console!
  • The problem is that consoles are entering the equation at all. This is NOT something that's supposed to be aimed at console gamers or gamers on a console budget.
  • Double the price is not "a little more". Even if that were true, a home console is a stand-alone product. This is an accessory that also requires a higher-end PC to function, with very little in terms of software support at the moment. It's not an absurd price, but it's too rich for my blood. I eagerly await version 2.
  • Insanely cheap, my ***. Try the complete opposite... Insanely expensive.
  • How did you come to this conclusion?? Do you have a comparable VR set you got for say $300? It's amazing how if some phone or tablet was introduced at this price range, people won't even notice the price tag (particularly if it is from fruit inc.!). You are getting first generation advanced tech yet to enjoy any economies of scale at a reasonable cost. There isn't even anything to compare it against as expensive or cheap!
  • So much this. It's emerging tech that nobody has really experienced before in the consumer space. Of course early adopters will pay the most.
  • You try making the same for half the price and come back and say it's expensive
  • For what it is?  What it is is a solution looking for a problem, a game platform with no games or Riff's verion of google glass.  But I'm on the outside so I'll want until I see what this has to offer.
  • Actually, a lot of games are going to be supporting Rift. And many games want to get more into their world of choice so VR will help them do that. I think it wont be a huge seller in that everyone will get one now. I think those that have a higher end gaming system can get one, the others have to wait a bit =).
  • Will WC be getting one to review?
  • Well thats a given, it's first gen after all and how much time have they spent on this? Not to mention they are not leaving their kickstarter backers in the dirt either (the proof will be in the pudding - when they are shipped out to the backers).
  • Sounds like something Sony would say in the PS3 era.
  • Ha-ha ha Posted via the Windows Central App for Nexus 5x
  • Selling my new XL to buy this
  • Not saying I'm surprised, but I really don't want to spend that much. It would be smart to wait it out and see where VR goes. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I do believe him.
  • All the complainers should have ponied up $99 for that fantastic Ouya console and seen what you get when you put price/budget ahead of quality.The promise of tons of cool indie games running smoothly and providing a great experience didn't materialize from what I read. Personally I've been tracking and following Oculus for years since I'm an OC resident and focused on the tech ecosystem. Tested out one of their headsets at a conference in 2012 or 2013 - can't remember which. As a gadget geek and somebody who has been tracking this for years it frankly doesn't matter whether it was $350 or $650 - I wanted it.  No, my existing PC can't run it, but yes, I've wanted an excuse to get a new one. I suspect I'm not alone in that.  Clearly not everybody will have the same point of view or decide this is where they want to allocate some of their entertainment funds, but for me it's way up there. Again, I *suspect* there are enough people with a similar viewpoint that will do the same.  Of course there is a large contingent of people who are either don't see the value in spending that much on it or can't spend that much, and they'll just need to look elsewhere for the time being.  
  • I agree with you but, I need more software available at the $600 price point... at $300, I would of pre-ordered it this morning and taken a chance on software... Still very cool...anyway about it...
  • If this works with ESO it will be the end of me ....
  • If this was around $300, I'd be all over it right now but, for $600, I need to see a SOLID amount of software titles and support. I would not spend $600 for it to sit on a shelf and wait for a FEW games to come out. I think it woudl be best to wait to see what happens....Microsoft has their option, Sony has their option... time will tell where this stands on the scale of everything...and price points..
  • ...and therein lies the issue! For the software development to grow there has to be an uptake in the hardware. This is exactly the problem Microsoft has suffered with phone yet here we are suffering alongside them in support. Personally, I'm interested in VR but having never experienced it I'll wait until I can try it out - the price does not concern me, it's the expectations that need to be meet first.
  • What benefit does the Rift bring exactly? You still need a high-performance graphics card, more than 8GB of RAM and 4 USB ports ... a well equipped gaming PC. Is the Rift just a new type of display with some sensors or does it do anything important for your visual experience?
  • I agree. Its obscenely cheap. Cheaper than iPhone.
  • It is cheap, much cheaper than I thought it would be. I was thinking it would be into the 1000's. Didn't the developer version cost something like £3000?
  • Exactly. 1st consumer version. Cheap as chips for the tech!
  • That price is the Hololens. The developer versions for Version 1 and 2 of the oculus rift cost $300 and $350 respectively.
  • "Oculus founder Palmer Luckey took to Titter today" I'm assuming this is the new adults only version of Twitter?
  • Throw a Apple logo on it and not one mofo would say a word
  • That is bloody cheap for what you're getting. I only weep for what the UK prices could be!
  • Yeah, occulus tv plus remote ? That's at least worth 50$ and the xbox one controller is like 50$ as well. So you pay 500$ for something completely unique which will definitely shape the future of ( sound a bit off now ->) mankind.
    I mean virtual reality has been a thing before like video googles but never with that big spectrum and abilities. This is something redefining pushing and its new technology so its worth 500$
  • Gee, $600 for a peripheral that will only run on less than 0.1% of existing PCs without making the user nauseous. What a bargain! I can't understand why Facebook is in heavy PR spin mode about that. Maybe it's watching the $2,000,000,000 that they paid for Oculus VR floating away over the horizon.
  • You telling me you don't have a medium end pc ? Because that's basically what the specs are. Except for the amd graphics card which is considered high end ( lol ) the NVIDIA 970 should be standart, or at least a 960 4g .
    Sry but 70% of all gamers on pc have at least equal to better specs And you can easily use occulus with lower specs, its just that "high" ( second lol ) specs so you've at least 60fps. Because when you go under that your brain will die and you'll puke and ****.
  • The <0.1% figure is from nVidia themselves from a couple of days ago. ​To not induce nausea you need 90FPS and over 99.9% of existing PCs can't do that. I'm guessing nVidia doesn't want to get blamed by all the disappointed and queasy Oculus Rift purchasers.
  • Love how occulus just dished AMD:D the equal to the high end r9 290 , is the medium end gtx970 :D wub wub :) ahhh sad for amd
  • $600 head mounted display with audio. (Computer that does all the actual work not included)
  • "we're not making any money on rift hardware..." Oh please!?! Yeah sure you're not. Friggin lies!
  • Wait for 3rd gen, 1st gen stuff is almost guaranteed to be a worse experience.