Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey has chosen this time of giving and receiving to, er, manage expectations.
“Future advancements and high volume will make VR available to everyone eventually,” says the holodeck gatekeeper. “But 1st gen will be mostly early adopters.”
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Luckey believes that even extreme measures, like selling without any profit margin at all, won’t be enough to match the price most would be willing to pay. Oculus Rift consumer headsets will likely cost upwards of $350, thanks to new tech not included in its developer kits.
Reminder of something I have talked about before: VR will become something everyone wants before it becomes something everyone can afford.
— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) December 24, 2015
“The cost of development hardware that was sold at a loss using many off-the-shelf components is not a good comparison,” tweeted Luckey earlier today. “Multiple custom VR panels, high end optics, and an endless list of specialized hardware and manufacturing techniques add up.
“There are a lot of people who expect to spend a couple hundred bucks and use their existing low end laptops,” he went on. “We are taking some big steps to make sure people know what they are getting into – we don’t want to sell to people who don’t.”
Asked by a follower if the Oculus Rift could compete with the affordability of cardboard VR devices for phones, Luckey replied: “Yes, because the Rift is actually good. Kind of like how fancy wine competes with muddy water.”
Visionary and charmer. Will you be a VR early adopter? Or are you already?