Oculus hosted its annual VR presentation this week, officially announcing a launch date and pricing for its Oculus Touch motion controllers. As expected these don’t come cheap. A set of Oculus Touch controllers will set you back a wallet-shredding $199.
Pre-orders for these kick off on October 10th, so that’s this Monday, and they’re going to be available from December 6th.
If you’ve got an Oculus Rift headset then the Touch controllers can open you up to a world of motion control and interactivity, much like the HTC Vive already does. Room-scale VR still isn’t supported out of the box though, so to take advantage of that you’ll need an additional Oculus Sensor, which will set you back a further $79.
So to get all three pieces of kit to run room-scale VR on the Oculus Rift you’re looking at $599 for the headset itself, $199 for the Oculus Touch, and $79 for the Oculus Sensor, running to a total cost of $877. Or you could just buy an HTC Vive and get all of that in a single box for $799.
I think Oculus has a lot of work on its hands to make its headset a tempting proposition. Any game for the Vive has been made from the ground up with room-scale motion controls in mind, while for Oculus it’s all been geared around the Xbox One controller. This new hardware is just going to fragment its user base.
The Oculus’ $599 price point was always its trump card (no pun intended). We’re already seeing on Steam Hardware Surveys that the HTC Vive is outselling the Oculus Rift 2:1, and being even more expensive isn’t going to help matters. Despite the Oculus Rift being comfortably the more recognisable headset brand, it’s difficult to shake the feeling that Valve and HTC has planned for the future much better than Oculus has with its room-scale VR.
The future of VR is looking increasingly uncertain, but which of the two biggest headsets do you believe has a chance of succeeding? Is the HTC Vive now both cheaper and better than the Rift? Let us know what you think!