During the Oculus Connect 3 keynote speech, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reveals that a more affordable version of the Oculus Rift is currently in development.
Prior to the Oculus Rift's release, one of the biggest talking points were the costs associated with the virtual reality headset. Not only was there controversy regarding its $599 launch price, which some felt wasn't in line with the company's previous messaging about price, but Oculus also suggested that the full price tag (including the computer to run it) was $1,500. Few gamers expected the Rift to come dirt cheap, but few expected it to be so pricey either.
For those who feel that virtual reality is too expensive, there was good news at the Oculus Connect 3 event which took place earlier this week. During the event's keynote, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook purchased Oculus VR in 2014) revealed that the company behind Oculus Rift is working on a new wireless virtual reality headset. While Zuckerberg didn't reveal any details on specs or its design, the Facebook executive did confirm that the headset is meant to be a mid-level, more affordable option that exists between (budget headset) Gear VR and the pricier Rift.
Additionally, it was also announced that the minimum specs required to run the Oculus Rift are being lowered too. Oculus VR co-founder Brendan Iribe said that gamers can now use the headset with a $500 computer, which, in comparison to the company's previous estimates, should save gamers around $400 or so.
The pricing news comes just days before the launch of the PlayStation VR, with the upcoming Sony headset believed to be a key player in virtual reality headset adoption, mostly as a result of its price. Oculus may have revealed its affordable headset plans this early (the wireless headset is still in the prototype stage) to dissuade players from investing in the Sony device, in the hopes that they will sit on their wallets a little longer and wait for a version of the Oculus Rift that they can afford.
Moreover, the new headset news also comes just days after Sony admitted that a new version of PlayStation VR is in the works. Those who have already purchased a virtual reality headset — or have pre-ordered the Sony-made one — will see this as a positive. The fact that multiple big figures in the VR industry are already working on follow up models suggests that virtual reality has some longevity and that the hundreds of dollars they have invested will not be going to waste any time soon.
Oculus Rift's Oculus Touch controls are available for pre-order on October 10, 2016.
Source: Game Informer