Since the pre-orders for Oculus Rift went live yesterday, people have only been talking about one thing – the price. Now, founder Palmer Luckey has spoken out about the controversial topic.
Jaws across the world collectively dropped when the Oculus Rift was revealed to cost £500/ $600 (not including shipping) despite previous estimations that the device would cost “$200-$400.”
Speaking in a Reddit AMA, Luckey was quick to defend his product on a number of key points, saying “to be perfectly clear, we don’t make money on the Rift.”
The Rift is bundled with a sensor, an Oculus Remote, cables, an Xbox One Controller and two games, but people have contested the necessity of the controller.
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.
Controller aside, Luckey also came under fire for his apparent promises in an interview with Eurogamer that the device would cost significantly less than has been the case. Something that he was quick to apologise for and explain.
Earlier last year, we started officially messaging that the Rift+Recommended spec PC would cost roughly $1500. That was around the time we committed to the path of prioritizing quality over cost, trying to make the best VR headset possible with current technology.
To reiterate, we are not making money on Rift hardware. High end VR is expensive, but Rift is obscenely cheap for what it is.
— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) January 6, 2016
Later on, I tried to get across that the Rift would cost more than many expected, in the past two weeks particularly. There are a lot of reasons we did not do a better job of prepping people who already have high end GPUs, legal, financial, competitive, and otherwise, but to be perfectly honest, our biggest failing was assuming we had been clear enough about setting expectations.
Another problem is that people looked at the much less advanced technology in DK2 for $350 and assumed the consumer Rift would cost a similar amount, an assumption that myself (and Oculus) did not do a good job of fixing. I apologize.
Luckey ended the AMA by saying “I will use whatever credibility I have left to assure you that you are getting a pretty crazy deal.”