Is the Oculus Rift worth the $600 price tag?

On January the 6th after nearly three and a half years Oculus announced that their consumer version was ready for pre-order and would be available at the end of March. Many people have been left angered and saddened by the announcement of the price of the consumer version of the Oculus Rift. With a steep price tag of $599, it costs more than the current generation consoles and is as expensive as most intermediate gamer-level PCs. Alongside the steep price, it also requires a powerful computer which has been estimated to cost around $1000.

The Oculus Rift - Oculus

The Oculus Rift – Oculus

Ever since Oculus first announced their Kickstarter crowd-funded campaign to bring virtual reality to the world, gamers from around the world have been waiting patiently for consumer release date. Oculus had promised a new gaming experience like no other and has kept its headset under tight wraps, only releasing developer kits when they deemed the product ready.

For those of you who may be unaware, the Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset which enables its users to feel fully immersed in a game whilst being in the comforts of their homes. Virtual Reality promises to change the way we play games, allowing gamers to become astronauts, racing drivers, rock climbers and much more.

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The Oculus Rift bundle – Oculus

So is it worth it?

The price of the Oculus may seem like a shock, however, PC gamers are notorious for spending ridiculous amounts of money on PC mods like case lighting, liquid cooling and over-the-top fan controllers. The shear amount of money that many gamers invest in their PC’s shows that people will pay for the right product.

Bundled with the Oculus Rift an Xbox One and Oculus controller, two games (EVE: Valkyrie and Lucky’s Tale) and a tracking sensor. When conducting an interview with AMA, the founder of Oculus and designer of the Rift Palmer Luckey said,

“To be perfectly clear, we don’t make money on the Rift”

-Palmer Luckey

He further stated that the additional extras in the box (controllers and games) added minimal costs to the overall costs of the bundle. The high price of the Rift is linked to the ‘core-technology’, which mainly includes the two OLED displays purpose built for VR.

The more you look into the hardware of the Rift, the easier it is to justify the price tag. In order to have the best VR experience, the headset needs to be comfortable, lightweight, durable and precise. Factors such as motion-sickness and frame lag have to be eliminated completely, which means the hardware has to be top of the range.

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The Oculus Rift internal – Oculus

When you combine the displays which have very high refresh rates and pixel densities, into a headset with cutting-edge optics, the $600 price tag makes more sense.

Oculus Rift is the first professional company to release a consumer VR headset and has set the bar for both quality and price. Currently VR is very new and is has yet to prove its value in the technological world. We can only wait until March when the first consumers receive their headsets to know more about the general opinions.

For now, stay tuned and we will provide updates as they come!

Saad Bhatty

Blogger, journalist, geologist and Tech-enthusiast. There is always something to write about!

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