If you think $599 is asking too much for the Oculus Rift, then it might surprise you to learn that Oculus VR won’t even make any money on hardware at that cost to consumers. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey came out and concisely stated this fact during his crowded AMA on Reddit last night.
He starts talking about not making any money with the $599 Rift bluntly, and then he expands on the price it costs to make and the extra stuff people say the company should drop to lower the total.
To be perfectly clear, we don’t make money on the Rift.
Succinct, right? He goes on.
The Xbox controller costs us almost nothing to bundle, and people can easily resell it for profit. A lot of people wish we would sell a bundle without “useless extras” like high-end audio, a carrying case, the bundled games, etc, but those just don’t significantly impact the cost.
Those little extras folks are hoping they’d remove to lower the price? Not really a big deal. Luckey explains a bit about what makes the Rift worth $599.
The core technology in the Rift is the main driver – two built-for-VR OLED displays with very high refresh rate and pixel density, a very precise tracking system, mechanical adjustment systems that must be lightweight, durable, and precise, and cutting-edge optics that are more complex to manufacture than many high end DSLR lenses. It is expensive, but for the $599 you spend, you get a lot more than spending $599 on pretty much any other consumer electronics devices – phones that cost $599 cost a fraction of that to make, same with mid-range TVs that cost $599. There are a lot of mainstream devices in that price-range, so as you have said, our failing was in communication, not just price.
Folks are rather upset about the cost of the Oculus Rift. No doubt, the VR headset is expensive. It’s even more expensive if you don’t have a modern computer capable of running games for the device. We’re talking about, from scratch, having to spend around $1,400 bucks at least to get started with a PC and an Oculus Rift.
That’s a big pile of scratch.
What do you think about then price in light of Luckey’s comments?