After being acquired by Facebook, a lot of people were curious when the Oculus Rift would launch and how much it would cost. Would it be priced purely for gamers or would the entry price be lowered for casual users? Well, they revealed the price along with announcing the availability of pre-orders and it's $599.99.
Yes, for the combined price of an Xbox One and PS4 during the Black Friday rush, you could own yourself a single Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. The news was revealed over on the official Oculus blog, where they announced that the headset will start shipping out on March 28 for $599.99. According to PC Gamer the Rift is already sold out and won't be available in stock again until May, later this year.
The package comes with the Rift VR headset with built in microphone, the Rift remote for use with navigation and menu operation, a sensor bar for wireless VR peripherals, an Xbox One controller, a copy of EVE: Valkyrie the space combat simulator, and a copy of Lucky's Tale.
Some of you might be wondering why on earth they would include an Xbox One controller with the Rift when they have their own controller? Well, it's because the Oculus Touch – the wireless VR-ready controller – is not actually ready for release. The ergonomic, twin-stick device was readily delayed just before Oculus announced the official price and release date for the Rift. The Oculus Touch device won't be available until sometime in the latter half of 2016. However, if you pre-order the Oculus Rift now, they will automatically move you up the queue for being on the waiting list for the Oculus Touch.
The device has been made available in development kit form for quite some time – in fact, the devkits have been available shortly after the Kickstarter was completed back in 2012 to the tune of $2.4 million from 9.5 thousand people.
Oculus hasn't forgotten about their backers, though. According to Wired, backers of the original Kicksarter for the virtual reality headset will be receiving the final and finished product... for free. Of course, those getting the free Rift will have had to have contributed at least $275 to gain eligibility to stand in the tier where a free Rift would be made available. Otherwise, anything lower than the $275 and you're fresh out of luck.
In this case I'm sure a lot of people are probably kicking themselves for not having pledged the $275, because it's a heck of a lot cheaper than the $599 everyone else has to cough up and pay.
So far the Rift will be the first of the three major VR headsets to hit the market. Sony and Valve have not detailed pricing and availability on the PlayStation VR and HTC Vive, yet. However, it's likely that they will be priced in a similar fashion to the Rift.
Now if you think the price of entry to owning the headset is steep, keep in mind that you'll need a full-on gaming rig to even use the Rift. A GTX 970 or AMD R9 290 are the bare minimum GPU requirements, and you'll need three USB 3.0 slots free, along with 8GB of RAM and an Intel i5 4590 or higher just to get started. As I said... it's steep.
Oculus plans to have 100 games made compatible for the Rift by the end of 2016, including hard hitting titles like Minecraft.