Oculus started accepting pre-orders for its consumer Rift on Wednesday, at which time the device’s price tag was revealed: $599.
But that’s not what many consumers expected to pay for the virtual reality device. During the September Oculus Connect developer conference, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey said it would be “in the $350 ballpark.”
In an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit Luckey apologized for giving this information, before he had the internal ball park information about the actual cost. “I handled the messaging poorly,” he wrote.
Much of the complaint seems to come from the confusion of the “$1599.00” cost that is being offered. The separate $1,500 price tag is the combined cost of the Oculus Rift and a PC with the computing power required to run the virtual reality headset. Most people don’t already own a graphics card at least as powerful as a Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD R9 290, and a CPU up to par with an Intel i5-4590.
That includes two built-for-VR OLED displays with high refresh rate and pixel density, a precise tracking system, lightweight and durable mechanical adjustment systems, and cutting-edge optics more complex to manufacture than 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 device,” Luckey said in defence of Oculus.