$600 for the The Oculus Rift?

SlumlordThanatos

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Aug 25, 2014
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Again, this is just a case of the technology not being ready.

I really want to see the Oculus Rift succeed. Playing something like EVE: Valkyrie or No Man's Sky in virtual reality has long been a dream of mine. I mean, the Rift is certainly a milestone: for the first time, the technology fucking works. All of the pieces are in place and ready to go.

But in order for the technology to be truly ready to market, it has to be affordable...and $600 for a peripheral isn't affordable. There are still problems to overcome.

That being said...VR isn't going to vanish again. Virtual Reality is close. Very close. We can practically taste it, because there is only one real obstacle to overcome, and it's fairly minor. All someone needs to do is figure out a way to drastically cut the cost of production, and we're fucking there.

It's only a matter of time. I'm confident that it'll finally be able to take off within the next decade.
 

Czann

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Jan 22, 2014
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I don't have a problem with it costing $600. Better that than putting cheap crap on our eyes.

But I have a problem with this price range killing VR in the cradle. I want it to thrive not die.

Solution? Hell if I have one. I'll sit here and hope for the best.
 

Dying_Jester

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Drop the two tech demo games and the controller from this bundle, because that is what this is, and you'd probably have a price for the Oculus closer to that $400 that was being talked about(Unless of course those are actually being thrown in as freebies).

I really do hope VR succeeds, though it's currently no cost I need to think about. I already told myself I'd wait one year before deciding which VR device I wanted to get myself. Before I do that though I still need to upgrade some of the parts in my PC.
 

fix-the-spade

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Czann said:
But I have a problem with this price range killing VR in the cradle. I want it to thrive not die.
I don't think this is going to happen.

HDTVs cost thousands when new, so did 4k panels. Now 1080p is bog standard and 4k is more money but not traumatically so.

Oculus will be the same, retail Mk1 is going to sell to the GTX980 and water cooling crowd (hi there!) or to home entertainment types wanting home cinema without having space for a giant screen. Unlike active 3D screen VR is a massive upgrade from a flat panel screen, so it's going to find a home with the enthusiasts.

Once it's entrenched there it will come down in price, within five years I would expect if to halve and I would expect the cost of VR capable hardware to halve as well, then we can all talk about volume sales. Facebook will be banking on that too, they haven't poured billions into this for a short term buck.

Software could be a sticking point, but again I think Facebook, Samsung, Sony and HTC/Valve will get their cheque books out to make sure there's VR software out there. The only other problem could be cross compatibility with software/hardware, but I expect that to be solved by Nvidia and AMD dictating driver standards since they account for 99% of PC and 100% of console graphics hardware.
 

stringtheory

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Dying_Jester said:
Drop the two tech demo games and the controller from this bundle, because that is what this is, and you'd probably have a price for the Oculus closer to that $400 that was being talked about(Unless of course those are actually being thrown in as freebies).
The controller has been stated by Oculus as costing them barely anything to bundle in (probably since most of the $50 consumer price is markup). As for the two tech demos, the companies that made them are probably paying Oculus to have them included as they'll hopefully be the flagship games of the system. So yes, I do believe the games and the controller are freebies and the headset itself costs $600. Which is a shame since I'm no longer even considering getting it for the near future because of the cost.
 

Zelderahn

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From the view of a pundit who wasn't going to take the leap regardless of disposable income available (I don't have that amount of dosh to begin with to spend on something like this), this was...

... Kinda expected?

VR is sort of inevitable in a way, but in a world where consumer tech of a fairly utilitarian nature is expensive enough as it is, this wasn't going to fly very far.

Who would be insane enough to develop the kind of high-end games that would actually incentivize that incredibly small demographic of gamers (key word, gamers) who will buy this to unironically use in their real day-2-day gaming experiences?
 

wulfy42

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Long long ago (over 15 years), I played a VR game at a local mall. It was called raptors rampage or something like that. We had to wear headsets and gloves, but it allowed you to look around with your head in game, and the gloves allowed you to aim and shoot with your real hands.

The game was fun, I got picked up by a velociraptor and shot it in the sky (falling to my death), but it's main point was competative fps (you shot at other people in the VR game as well...I believe there was 8 of us at a time. Me and my friends playing it a few times, at 10 minutes a pop (believe it was $1 a minute). There was a huge line to play it though...so you spent an hour + waiting to play it each time.

After that there where VR battletech games etc, still over 15 years ago, so VR already seemed to be a thing at that point. No home VR systems, but at least I figured we would be seeing more vr gaming centers. They all seemed to dissapear though.

$600 is a pretty huge price range, but compared to the old rates to play the games, it's only about 10 hours worth of play to pay for it. If you have a decent selection of games to play, it can quickly pay for itself. The ability to play online with friends from all over, any time, means you could have unlimited VR play at this point. Remakes of previous games (Especially fps games) would be great. I'd love to see borederlands 2 for instance, remade for VR play. Perhaps the next game will be made with VR in mind as well (Which will probably do more for selling the equipment then anything else).

A good game is vital though. People already buy $400 systems etc for 1 game they really want. VR IS going to be the norm eventually, we are still at it's early stages. Eventually it will probably be the norm, and the hardware will get smaller and smaller (And cheaper). Even if it's current home console launch doesn't do great, it will in time I am sure.
 

grigjd3

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The problem that VR has as a new technology that isn't present in TVs or audio systems, etc, is that it is for a single person. I can't put an oculus rift in my living room because only one person can use it at a time. Thus, it must go with my gaming PC, which may or may not be capable of running the thing. So now I am talking about needing a 1500 dollar computer to run a 600 dollar peripheral which I can't share with people. The use is too limited at that price.

Yes, I can save and afford this, but is it worth the money to me? While I'm old enough to have the kind of money needed to buy something like this, I also have a child and a wife and a full time job. The time I can give to playing games is very small. The price difference between 400 and 600 isn't the issue. Realistically, if I am considering 400 for a periphery item, 600 is not a huge difference. The problem is value for the money and the value isn't there. This kind of thing has to get dirt-cheap for me to consider it.
 

Cowabungaa

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SlumlordThanatos said:
Again, this is just a case of the technology not being ready.
It's ready for consumers, just not for mass-market appeal. And that's fine.

New tech often launches first in a higher price category, aimed at enthusiasts who like being early adopters. A few years later the price will go down and it'll enter the mainstream market. That is, if it happens to be a success among early adopters. It happened with smartphones, it happened/is happening with 4K displays, Blu Ray, you name it. The Rift is no different in that regard.

People crying that this'll kill VR are overreacting. What we're seeing is completely par of the course for new tech. We'll find out whether this'll find an audience among early adopters soon enough, and if that happens we'll probably see this tech developed further. Who knows, maybe it'll stay a high-end toy, maybe it'll become a mass-market thing, maybe it'll be a fad. We don't know yet and what we're seeing so far doesn't provide much of an indication either way. We'll find out eventually.

As for me, this is about as far out of my budget as buying a full flightsim cockpit. I'm already happy my PC can sort-of handle Fallout 4 (though that's a poorly optimized game), let alone this.
 

Kenjitsuka

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stringtheory said:
Dying_Jester said:
Drop the two tech demo games and the controller from this bundle, because that is what this is, and you'd probably have a price for the Oculus closer to that $400 that was being talked about(Unless of course those are actually being thrown in as freebies).
The controller has been stated by Oculus as costing them barely anything to bundle in (probably since most of the $50 consumer price is markup). As for the two tech demos, the companies that made them are probably paying Oculus to have them included as they'll hopefully be the flagship games of the system. So yes, I do believe the games and the controller are freebies and the headset itself costs $600. Which is a shame since I'm no longer even considering getting it for the near future because of the cost.
No doubt you're right. I'm guesstimating the controller costs them like $20 at most, probably less, and it ADDS a lot to the experience. And software costs generally nothing (since production of a "new copy" costs exactly zero dollars). Inclusion of it in hardware bundles is a very complex marketing, public image and investor thing. NVIDIA and ATI have been including games forever with their cards. And each bundle counts as a "sale" made for the publisher, so they can claim good sales for PR and investor calls...

And let's just look at the console price developments for ... EACH generation ever. They plummet soon enough.
Just compare XBONE price now to the first announced price: ?499 to now $300. Next year it'll be 300 bucks *with* the latest hot game and two controllers and a headset...
 

SecondPrize

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Mar 12, 2012
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The Rift is already a tough sell, $600 isn't going to help. You can't show what people see with it on and actors flailing about with black boxes strapped to their face doesn't seem as impactful with a wider audience as images of happy actor families playing with the wii. The real killer though is what you need to run it well. Two screens that need to be refreshed quickly do not make for a simple spec requirement.
 

Olas

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Dec 24, 2011
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I'm glad the first major VR product is fairly high-end. VR needs to prove itself as something truly exciting and desirable to people, and that means it needs to be good and work well. If they just pumped out a cheaper but crappier version that didn't work quite right people are more likely to lose interest in the tech.
 

rgrekejin

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I suspect that VR's primary problem isn't going to turn out to be cost. Rather, its going to suffer the same problem as 3D TV/movies - once that new tech smell fades, and you put enough time in on the device that you stop going "OMG I'm IN the GAME!" every time you strap it on, you realize that it really doesn't add enough to the experience to justify the additional expense and inconvenience of using it. I'm certain enthusiasts will disagree, but then, there are still some people who love their 3D TVs. And I'm certain that I'm going to get jumped on here by a bunch of people who swear up and down that if I'd actually tried VR with whatever their preferred device is instead of the previous iteration of that same device, then I'd know what "real" VR is and I'd wonder how I ever lived without it. I guess the only possible response to that is that we'll see, won't we?
 

Albino Boo

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Olas said:
I'm glad the first major VR product is fairly high-end. VR needs to prove itself as something truly exciting and desirable to people, and that means it needs to be good and work well. If they just pumped out a cheaper but crappier version that didn't work quite right people are more likely to lose interest in the tech.
The counter argument is why would any developer spend time on money adapting or creating content for a peripheral that only has 100,000 users.
 

Olas

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albino boo said:
Olas said:
I'm glad the first major VR product is fairly high-end. VR needs to prove itself as something truly exciting and desirable to people, and that means it needs to be good and work well. If they just pumped out a cheaper but crappier version that didn't work quite right people are more likely to lose interest in the tech.
The counter argument is why would any developer spend time on money adapting or creating content for a peripheral that only has 100,000 users.
Because nearly all 100,000 users will buy it, or at least a much larger percentage will than if it's on a crowded platform. These people paid 600 dollars for the device, I imagine they'll wanna get they're money's worth from it. Besides, some kinds of games can be adapted to VR fairly easily without having to change much with the main game. Basically I'm just parroting what Totalbiscuit said in his recent vid on the topic, I'd check that out if you want to hear the case argued better.
 

RandV80

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rgrekejin said:
I suspect that VR's primary problem isn't going to turn out to be cost. Rather, its going to suffer the same problem as 3D TV/movies - once that new tech smell fades, and you put enough time in on the device that you stop going "OMG I'm IN the GAME!" every time you strap it on, you realize that it really doesn't add enough to the experience to justify the additional expense and inconvenience of using it. I'm certain enthusiasts will disagree, but then, there are still some people who love their 3D TVs. And I'm certain that I'm going to get jumped on here by a bunch of people who swear up and down that if I'd actually tried VR with whatever their preferred device is instead of the previous iteration of that same device, then I'd know what "real" VR is and I'd wonder how I ever lived without it. I guess the only possible response to that is that we'll see, won't we?
People have different preferences for different things. Those that enjoy a visual immersion (this includes myself) should absolutely love VR, while those that don't care for (I'm guessing yourself) it probably won't think twice about needing VR. The only thing I really want to add here is in the battle between preference was pretty big when Avatar started the 3D theater phase, and your side lost... badly.
 

Albino Boo

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Olas said:
Because nearly all 100,000 users will buy it, or at least a much larger percentage will than if it's on a crowded platform. These people paid 600 dollars for the device, I imagine they'll wanna get they're money's worth from it. Besides, some kinds of games can be adapted to VR fairly easily without having to change much with the main game. Basically I'm just parroting what Totalbiscuit said in his recent vid on the topic, I'd check that out if you want to hear the case argued better.
Console sales are in the millions and gaming pcs are in the same magnitude. At 100k sales there is not simply enough of user base to even port an existing game to it. A team of 5 people working for 3 months will cost at least $50k and there is no guarantee of extra sales.