It’s not just Nvidia and AMD making news today, it seems earlier at the GDC event Oculus announced several price cuts to their Rift head mounted display, which we have previously reviewed here, as well as their touch controllers and sensor which we reviewed here.
The new pricing will be $499 for the headset, a sensor, and the Xbox 1 pad. $99 for the Oculus Touch which ships with an additional sensor, or $598 for a bundle containing both, finally an additional sensor is down to just $59. This is down from $599 for the Rift, $199 for the Touch, $798 for them both bundled and $79 for a single sensor. In addition to the cheaper price, new touch purchases will ship with the latest addition to the Oculus Store, Robo Recall, Epic Games new VR Oculus Touch Exclusive FPS.
This shaves a nice $200 off the cost of entry to VR compared to the prices 24 hours ago, and a full $220 off the total cost of ownership for a room scale Rift set up. Compare this to the current price of the HTC Vive at $799 and the move looks aggressive from Oculus in terms of trying to gain an increased share of the market. The question remains will HTC now step up and lower their own prices?
Good News for New Touch Owners
For those that have already purchased the Touch controllers depending on when you purchased them you may be in luck as far as savings are concerned. Any users who registered a touch in the last 30 days will be receiving $50 store credit to put towards games on the Oculus Store.
Recent registrants of the Touch should have an email that reads:
You’re getting a $50 Oculus Store Credit,
Thanks for activating Oculus Touch within the last 30 days. Today we announced lower pricing for Rift and Touch, so we’re crediting your account with $50 (USD) to spend on digital content on the Oculus Store. This credit will be available in your account within 24 hours, and you’ll have a year before it expires.
In regards to the reasons for the price drop, Jason Rubin, Oculus VP of Content said
After launching VR into a hype cycle generated outside of the industry, we’ve recently seen some of these same voices shift to predictions of VR doom and gloom. We believe these stories are as overblown as the initial hype, and we still believe in VR’s unlimited long term potential. Today we’re taking a material leap forwards, thanks to two things: Price and Timing.
Let’s start with price. We’ve read all the stories and looked at the analysis reports. VR is going through the normal adoption cycle for new pieces of technology. We saw hype into launch, facing impossible expectation, and we will eventually break out with the “hockey stick” of mass adoption
Some Older Owners Are Not So Happy
Of course, not everyone is overjoyed at the price drops, with some commentary from a small group of purchasers of the Headset and the Touch expressing dissatisfaction at paying more. In terms of the touch this is potentially more galling for many due to the fact it only launched to retail in December last year, meaning the price cuts come a mere three months after the product launched. It remains to be seen how much of an uproar this will present beyond a few disgruntled posts on Facebook, Twitter and the Oculus forums or indeed if Oculus will take action to try to appease existing owners, particularly those that bought the Touch in the two months that the 30-day credit window doesn’t cover. For now, this does look to be a vocal minority, with more comments being understanding of the extra cost burden shouldered by innovators and generally positive about the fact that this opens up VR to a whole new raft of users who may have been previously put off by the admittedly high price of entry.