Why Oculus Rift pricing isn't what you thought it'd be
The price tag of one of 2016's hottest new products is proving to be a hot-button topic.
After months of suspense, Oculus VR revealed at CES this week that the Rift, one of the first virtual-reality headsets to hit the market, will set consumers back $599. That didn't go over so well. Some who'd been hankering for the device tookto social media to express their confusion and annoyance. Last year Oculus had indicated the Rift's price would be about $350, with the caveat that the final price would be slightly higher.
So it was time for damage control. On Wednesday, Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey ventured onto the popular and often raucous Reddit community site to apologize for the bewilderment about the final pricing of the soon-to-be-releasedRift headset. When questioned by a Reddit user about how Oculus had mismanaged consumer expectations, Luckey admitted that he "handled the messaging poorly."
Virtual reality promises to transport people into computer-generated worlds just by donning a headset, and it's garnered excitement among everyone from film directors to game designers to marketers. Whether mainstream consumers are ready is the big question, and an answer could come this year as electronics makers send their VR gadgets out into the world. Along with the Oculus Rift, the first wave of headsets include Sony's PlayStation VR, HTC's Vive and those that have already hit the market like the cheaper Samsung Gear VR and Google's budget, flat-pack Cardboard device.