Over the past few months, Facebook-owned tech company Oculus VR has been saying that virtual reality will be the next step in gaming evolution.
But, given the recently announced price tag of the Oculus Rift headset, it's a bit hard to consider it as a practical replacement of traditional gaming consoles.
Earlier this week, Oculus VR announced that pre-orders for the virtual reality headset have already started. As a highly anticipated device, many consumers have been waiting to get their hands on the headset ever since it was first demoed. But, after learning its retail price, a lot of them are now having second thoughts about getting an Oculus Rift.
As noted by The Verge, the VR headset costs $599, which is way more than the current prices of next-gen consoles such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. This obviously came as a surprise for many people since the predecessors of the headset, namely the Developer Kit 1 and Developer Kit 2, were priced at $300 and $350 respectively.
Also, don't expect that you'll be able to enjoy VR gaming right away once you buy the headset.
One of the requirements of using the Rift is a high-end PC. According to Slate, those who are determined to play quality VR games should expect to spend close to $2,000 for the VR-ready PC and the Oculus Rift. Of course, Oculus VR is aware of this cost issue which is why it is also offering a Rift and Rift-compatible PC for $1,400.
Despite the expensive price tag attached to the Oculus Rift, consumers should understand the fact that this headset is the first fully-functioning, gaming-centric device in the market today. This means that the Rift should be regarded as the pioneer of today's consumer VR technology. And, as the first of its kind in the market, it is not yet considered as a mainstream device nor does it dictate the standard price range for all VR devices that will come out in the future.
Hopefully, as more companies tinker with their own VR headsets, they'll come across cheaper manufacturing the development costs that could eventually drive this type of device's market price down.
But for now, people should just get used to the idea of a $600 VR headset. As for those who are still focused on getting one, the first batch of Oculus Rift devices will arrive in March of this year. It comes bundled with the games "Lucky's Tale," "EVE: Valkyrie," an Xbox One controller and the Oculus Remote.