We still don’t have our hands on a price for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, but we’re starting to get a much clearer idea of what it might cost. Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe spoke in general terms at the Re/code Conference this week about the cost associated with getting into the burgeoning new technology when it hits next year.
“We’re looking at an all-in price, if you have to go out and actually buy a new computer and you’re going to buy the Rift… at most you should be in the $1,500 range,” he said.
If you’re starting from scratch – no gaming computer at all – then Iribe wants you spending about $1,500 to get that Rift-powering PC and the Rift itself. Oculus recently revealed the specs needed to run the hardware, giving us a fairly good idea of what the gaming PC itself might cost:
- Nvidia GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
- Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
- 8 GB+ RAM
- Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
- 2x USB 3.0 ports
- Windows 7 SP1 or newer
Weirdly, that’s almost exactly my configuration aside from the memory. Total, that setup costs about $1,000, leaving about $300 to $500 for the headgear, depending on whether Iribe was including the necessary peripherals to run the computer – keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc. Considering how new consumer virtual reality is, that’t not too bad.
It sounds like Iribe doesn’t see the tech changing too much, either, as he expects these specifications to stay the same for years, explaining in a recent interview that “the recommended spec will stay constant over the lifetime of the Rift.” That suggests that we won’t be seeing Quad HD displays coming to the Rift, for example. What this means for the total cost to get into VR is that, over the years, it should become cheaper and cheaper. If the tech takes off, it wouldn’t be surprising if Oculus or someone else started offering a “Virtual Reality PC” built to specs like those.
With the Rift set to release in early 2016, we only have a few months left before we should start expecting a retail price for the hardware.