Palmer admits that the Oculus Rift’s Pricing was “ill-prepared”

Palmer admits that the Oculus Rift's Pricing was

Palmer admits that the Oculus Rift’s Pricing was “ill-prepared”


Yesterday a lot of VR fans were shocked by the Oculus Rift’s £500 ($600) price tag, saying that it was far too expensive, especially when compared to the $350 devkit 2. 

Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, has admitted that he had handled pricing expectations poorly, stating previously that the VR headset would be a price in the ballpark of the $350 dev kit, a price which turned out to be almost 2X less than the final retail price of the unit. 


“I  handled the messaging poorly,”

“My answer was ill-prepared, and mentally, I was contrasting $349 with $1,500, 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.”

  Palmer admits that the Oculus Rift's Pricing was


One thing that must be remembered is that the Oculus Rift is cutting edge technology and is made using some very expensive components, including high refresh rate, high resolution OLED displays and expensive lenses and motion tracking tech. 

Palmer says that they are “not making money on Rift hardware”, which is something that we don’t have much trouble believing, especially considering the price of today’s high end phones and the highly specified technology that is used in these VR headsets. 


  “The core technology in the Rift is the main driver — two built-for-VR OLED displays with very high refresh rate and pixel density, a very precise tracking system, mechanical adjustment systems that must be lightweight, durable, and precise, and cutting-edge optics that are more complex to manufacture than many high end DSLR lenses,”

“It is expensive, but for the $599 you spend, you get a lot more than spending $599 on pretty much any other consumer electronics devices — phones that cost $599 cost a fraction of that to make, same with mid-range TVs that cost $599. There are a lot of mainstream devices in that price-range, so as you have said, our failing was in communication, not just price.”


While many people consider the price of VR to be too much, please remember that this is still very early days for the technology and the pricing of the Oculus Rift’s main rival, the HTC Vive is still to be announced, so perhaps HTC and Valve will save the day with a slightly cheaper headset.

One option for Oculus later down the line is to take away the Xbox one controller from the Oculus Rift bundle, which would reduce the price of the unit by around £40 and perhaps also reduce the cost of shipping the unit. Most PC gamers, especially the enthusiast crowd who would buy the Oculus Rift will already have a Xbox One controller, so a future SKU of the Rift without a controller seems inevitable. 

A lot of people have stated that 2016 is the year of VR, it is merely the year which VR begins, far from when it will become mass market. Perhaps within a few short years the technology will become something that is affordable by mainstream users, but until then you will have to contend with a premium price like all other early adopters of cutting edge technology. 


You can join the discussion on Palmer’s claim that he failed to prepare Oculus Fans for the Rift’s high price on the OC3D Forums.