Rift + Touch cut to $399

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wvjohn
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Rift + Touch cut to $399

Postby wvjohn » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:45 am

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/07/ ... ith-touch/

Unexpected price slashing raises questions about hardware's costs, sales, future.

KYLE ORLAND - 7/10/2017, 3:01 AM

This kind of setup now costs half as much as it did a year ago.
60
Oculus announced via its blog overnight that the Rift VR headset bundled with hand-tracking Touch controllers will now cost just $399, half the price the company was charging for that same hardware package less than five months ago. The "limited time" price is being offered as part of an ongoing "Summer of Rift" promotion that also includes heavy discounts on Oculus games.

FURTHER READING
Oculus slashes price of Oculus Rift with Touch controllers by 25%
It was only March 1 when the Rift headset alone saw its first major price drop to $499, after launching at $599 roughly a year before. At that time, the optional Oculus Touch controllers also dropped from $199 to $99, less than four months after their release last December.
Today's further 33 percent reduction in the price of a Rift/Touch hardware bundle makes high-end, PC-based VR a good deal more affordable than it was just last year. Back then, it cost at least $1,500 to go "all in" on a basic Oculus Ready PC bundled with the Rift headset, before the Touch controllers were even available. Today, you could get a similar barebones "Oculus Ready" system" with the Rift headset and Touch controllers for $1,000 or less.

Why the sudden price cut?

Such a severe price reduction, coming so soon after the company's first price drop in March, could signal that Oculus is having trouble moving Rift headsets and/or Touch controllers in sufficient volume (even if Oculus advertises the new price as being for a "limited time"). While the Rift was back-ordered for months as early adopters snapped up initial pre-orders at $599 last year, anecdotal reports suggest retail interest has waned in recent months.

Analysts at SuperData estimated the Rift had sold about 240,000 units through the beginning of February, well behind sales estimates for both the cheaper PlayStation VR and the more expensive HTC Vive (not to mention less powerful mobile-based competition).

Today's price drop may simply reflect the lowered cost of components that are now over a year older, and likely being produced at more significant scale. The original Oculus Rift headset is approaching the 18-month transistor doubling/price-halving point suggested by some versions of Moore's Law.

FURTHER READING
Oculus founder apologizes for “messaging poorly” on $599 Rift price
Last January, Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey said the company wasn't making a profit on the hardware at its initial $599 price. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Oculus-parent Facebook, said in February that the company's VR effort is "not going to be profitable for quite a while," a statement that came just before the Rift hardware received its March price drop. That's in contrast to the SteamVR-powered HTC Vive, which is still sold for a profit at the same $800 price at which it launched.
FURTHER READING
Are the PS4 and Xbox One really that expensive, historically?
For comparison, video game consoles usually take an average of three to four years to drop to 50 percent of their original asking price, though many counterexamples can be found on either side of that mean. The Xbox One hit a $250 price just under three years after launching at $499 with a bundled Kinect camera (which is no longer part of the console's default package). The Sega Saturn, on the other hand, dropped to $199 just a year after launching at $399.
A signal for new hardware?

FURTHER READING
Oculus expects to sell “north of a million units” for first consumer Rift
Perhaps the current Rift design is seeing its price cut in advance of the announcement of a potential "Rift 2.0." Oculus' then-CEO Brendan Iribe told Ars in 2014 that he expected the second consumer version of the Rift to come a year or two after the first. "That's when we think the scale will really goal, and hopefully you'll get many millions of people into VR, playing great games and other stuff," Iribe said at the time.
FURTHER READING
Rift goes wireless: Ars walks around in Oculus’ Santa Cruz VR prototype
Oculus' fourth annual Connect convention in October could provide a good opportunity to announce new hardware. At last year's event, the company showcased a prototype wireless version of the Rift that used "inside out" tracking embedded in the unit itself, rather than tracking via cameras connected to a tethered PC.

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Genom
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Re: Rift + Touch cut to $399

Postby Genom » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:18 am

While I love the technology, maybe I am just too much of a hardware nerd. The display quality on my Vive leaves a bit to be desired. I suspect a improved display model is coming soon as that is probably the biggest issue I find with the systems out now.

Really hope the new Vive controllers release soon for a reasonable price. And a headset/display upgrade would be banging.


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