Coinciding with the commencement of preorders for the Oculus Rift, the long awaited headset has been revealed to be priced at $599 USD. Besides the headset itself an Xbox One controller, the Oculus Remote (a "new input device", designed "to introduce non-gamers to VR") and a copy of Playful's platformer Lucky's Tale will be included within the box. Additionally, those who preorder the headset will also get a free copy of CCP Games's Eve: Valkyrie and first priority once the recently delayed Oculus Touch becomes available for pre-order.
The first orders for the headset will start shipping March 28, however there are reports that even now current purchases are being set for later delivery in April and May. The Rift will apparently also see a limited retail release come April. Founder and C.E.O. of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey, has assured that no customer will be locked into their preorder, nor will anyone be charged until the headset ships.
In their announcement Oculus also finalized the "recommended" PC specifications for using the headset:
- 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 1 x USB 2.0 port (4 total)
- Operating System: Window 7 SP1 64 bit or newer
The company will also soon be certifying "Oculus Ready PCs": machines that they will guarantee to have the recommended system requirements. Starting in February, bundles including a Rift and such PCs will be made available for preorder, starting at $1499.
Interestingly, Luckey has emphasized that Oculus VR (and presumably their parent company Facebook) will not be making any money on Rift hardware.
It's hardly uncommon for new tech products to be sold at a loss in order to sell more units and gain market share (Microsoft famously did so for both the Xbox and Xbox 360). It'll be interesting to see how competing headsets like Valve's HTC Vive and Sony's Playstation VR will be priced in comparison. Any price disparity would also have to take into account the cost difference between a capable enough PC and a PS4; not to mention the performance, capability, and software of all three once they hit the market.
For more potential information on the launch of the Oculus Rift, there is to be a Reddit AMA Wednesday January 6 at 6 pm Pacific Time with Luckey.