Few console launches in recent memory have generated as much excitement as the Oculus Rift, the upcoming VR gaming platform that could actually be technologically and culturally revolutionary. But when the Oculus Rift’s $599 price tag was revealed earlier this week, gamers erupted in fury.
Oculus founder Palmer Luckey attempted to do some damage control in a Reddit AMA, when he personally apologized for unintentionally misleading fans.
“I handled the messaging poorly,” says Luckey, “my answer was ill prepared, and mentally, I was contrasting $349 with $1500, not our internal estimate that hovered close to $599 […] I apologize.”
The $599 price tag may simply be too high for casual gamers, which is probably one of the reasons that Oculus’ announcement caused so much anger. But the additional complication is that the Oculus Rift needs a high-end PC to properly run, and that could cost an additional $900. So instead of a $599 VR console, the fully realized Oculus Rift may cost upwards of $1499… and that’s a huge problem.
As Nerdist Gaming editor Malik Forté pointed out yesterday, Oculus has left the door open for Sony’s Playstation VR to swoop in and steal Oculus Rift’s thunder. The Oculus Rift is currently scheduled to launch in May with only two games ready to go. That wouldn’t be enough to make hardcore gamers rush out and buy it even if the Oculus Rift was affordably priced! Gamers want to play games, and two launch titles is just not going to cut it.
Oculus reportedly has 100 games in development for the Oculus Rift, with most of them slated for release this year. But if Oculus can’t find an audience of gamers willing to buy its console, don’t be too shocked to see some of those titles show up on Playstation VR or HTC’s VR platform. The future of gaming may have arrived, but there’s no guarantee that Oculus will be able to recover from this stumble.
How do you feel about Oculus Rift’s price point? Unleash your thoughts below!
Image Credit: Oculus