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Oculus Rift boss justifies higher price

by on05 October 2015

$350 you should be so Luckey

Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey has been justifying punters having to pay more than the expected $350 price for the Oculus Rift headset.

When Oculus first launched it wanted to create an affordable consumer VR headset. Luckey told Road to VR  that it would end up costing more than the promised $350.

He said that it will be around that figure, but a little more:

"The reason for that is that we've added a lot of technology to this thing beyond what existed in the DK1 and DK2 days. And it's not a matter of 'oh we're selling more, we can make more money!' "
Luckey said it was more about trade-offs. "Are you going to optimize for absolute lowest price possible, even if it's gonna be a lower quality experience? Or do you try to say 'you know what, this is the first consumer VR headset that were going to be pushing out to people. We need to put a stake in the ground and say: this is the best possible experience that we were able to make. No compromises were made in terms of quality'. "


He said that Oculus would try to get the cost down as much as possible, but it still wants to make it so that the Rift is something that everybody wants to use to the best of their ability.

"It would really suck if you put something out there and people were like 'ah man... the Rift is good, but it's not quite there', you know? 'If only it was a little better, if the lenses were a little better, if the resolution was a little better, if the screens had been a little bit better, then it would be great because you'd say 'god, we could have just charged a little more and put a little bit more money into custom hardware and actually achieve that'. "

There is a lot of custom hardware in the Rift. It is using lenses that are some of the hardest to manufacture. It has custom displays that are optimized for virtual reality, in a lot of ways even beyond what you're actually seeing on these prototypes on the show floor, he said.

"We could have made tradeoffs that had... honestly like 90 per cent  of the tracking quality we had now, and we decided to do things that would bump that quality up a little bit more even though it raised the cost of the headset. I can't tell you that it's going to be $350, and I would say I think people are going to be happy with what they get for the price because I really do think it's going to be that best VR headset you can buy," Lucky said.


Last modified on 05 October 2015
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