Hey, Oculus Rift, Why Are You So Freaking Expensive?

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chris-littlechild - January 9, 2016

This is the future, Ego-friends. We may not have teleports, hoverboards or teleporting hoverboards, or most things that the sci-fi writers of the 80s expected us to have by now, but you know what we do have? We have the fancy-ass tech that is VR gaming, that's what.

Now, lots of us feel some kind of way about Oculus Rift. You might think it's a fad, it'll never catch on. You might think it's an interesting niche ‘toy' that has no place in mainstream gaming. That it's something to dick around with for a couple seconds then forget all about (like I did with the PlayStation Camera). Maybe all of that. Maybe something else. Whatever your view, though, you have to admit that there's some pretty awesome technology inside this thing.

The first rule of awesome technology? It doesn't come cheap. As we saw earlier this week, Oculus Rift is priced at a pretty hefty $599.99, which really smarts when you consider the expensive-ass PC you'll need to have to actually use it. Worse than that, it's much more than potential buyers were expecting.

Palmer Luckey, founder of the Oculus VR company, previously gave us a ‘ballpark' of $350. Now that the actual price has been revealed, our ol' buddy Palmer has some grovelling to do.

As GameSpot reports, his written apology gives the full skinny:

‘I handled the messaging poorly… Earlier last year, we started officially messaging that the Rift [with a] recommended-spec PC would together cost roughly $1,500. Many outlets picked the story up as 'Rift will cost $1500!' "[Then] in a September interview, during the Oculus Connect developer conference, I made the infamous 'roughly in that $350 ballpark, but it will cost more than that' quote. As an explanation, not an excuse: during that time, many outlets were repeating the "Rift is $1500!" line, and I was frustrated by how many people thought that was the price of the headset itself.'

"My answer was ill-prepared, and mentally, I was contrasting $349 with $1500, not our internal estimate that hovered close to $599. That is why I said it was in roughly the same ballpark."

Well, sure. We've all been there. You know how it is, when you say ‘roughly about' but you mean ‘almost twice as goddamn much as'? It could happen to anyone. The good news, Luckey tells the world, is that Rift is still ‘obscenely cheap' considering what it can do. So, really, what are we bitching about? Seriously.

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