While early adopters have been paying through the nose to experience virtual reality from the ground floor up this past 18 months or so, the price of VR is now gradually creeping into the realms of affordability for the rest of us. Oculus has now announced the Oculus Rift plus a pair of Oculus Touch controllers has been reduced permanently down to $399, compared to its peak of $878 last year.
That’s really not a bad price at all now, although it should be warned that the wireless Project Santa Cruz VR from Oculus is due in 2018 and, on paper, should be a significant upgrade thanks to its no cords approach.
Talking of no more cords, Oculus also announced its Oculus Go headset. It’s an all-in-one VR solution - no cords, no mobile phone, no dedicated PC. All the hardware is housed within the headset itself.
"If we're going to get a billion people in VR, we have to work on both affordability and quality,” said Zuckerberg yesterday evening. “We have to find the sweet spot in the middle. The high-quality experience that doesn't tether anybody to a PC."
Considering the poor sales of the Oculus Rift up to this point, it seems price has been a major sticking point to mainstream success. At $199/£199 it sounds like an absolute bargain, providing the ticket to more than 1000 VR experiences, games and apps when it launches early next year.
From a design point of view, the Oculus Go is extremely lightweight and, dare I say it, stylish. Inside it, there’s a self-contained PC with mobile-like components and next-gen VR lenses with minimal glare and an impressive 2560 x 1440 LCD display. Built-in speakers also provide spatial audio for simulated 3D sounds. Each Oculus Go comes with a single mini controller that can be used for basic interaction and movement.
For those after a premium VR experience, a tethered headset is still the way to go, but $199 just to mess around with a whole bunch of VR apps and games is a mighty tempting proposition.
Anyone planning to pick up an Oculus Rift after the price drop? Could the Oculus Go be the ticket to mainstream success? Let us know your thoughts below!