Oculus Rift Will Sell 'At The Lowest Cost Possible'

Oculus Rift Will Sell

There are reasons for concern following Facebook's purchase of Oculus Rift, but one massive benefit -- at least for users -- will be the way the social network giant is able to influence the headset's price. As in, it's going to be cheaper.

Had Oculus tried to bring the VR headset to market themselves (though I doubt they ever really intended to, I'm sure the intent was always to hold out for a wealthy suitor), it would had to have been sold at a price that made a profit. Now that Facebook is footing the bills, however, that's no longer a concern.

Just like Google does with its Nexus devices, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg sees Oculus as a chance to get a device into as many hands as possible, price be damned.

"...we were planning to run a business, hopefully a break-even [or] profitable business off of this, not a money-losing business", Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe told Ars Technica. "Mark is much more in the mindset of 'Let's get this to scale with the best quality product at the lowest cost possible."

Facebook's money won't just make a difference on the first iteration of the hardware either, Iribe adding that it "...is going to allow us to deliver a much better consumer V2, that's for sure."

Oculus expects to sell "north of a million units" for first consumer Rift [ars technica]


Comments

    Isn't this more worrying tho? Facebook aren't a not for profit business - some sort of business model will appear that justifies it's 2 billion $ purchase. To me It just means that they'll either be implementing nickel and dime features to milk people over a long time and/or they'll be selling off meta data associated with anything the occulus does.

    Has there been a confirmation of the project staying 100% open source what about drivers? do they phone home w/ meta data from my computer? I really don't trust facebook at all given their track record.

      I think it makes a lot of sense when you're trying to kickstart a brand new market - keep the entry cost low so that you get the most people in. They're thinking long term as they believe it's going to be a huge platform in the future, and taking a small loss on the hardware now is an investment to them. There won't be monetising the first few versions of the Rift with microtransactions and privacy concerns as they don't want to kill their baby before it has legs, they want people to be comfortable with the first few versions of the device and let it gain a foothold. They'll definitely nickel and dime us one day, but today is not that day.

        That is a good point - probably not going to happen on release but at some stage during it's cycle.

      Did Google did anything to offend you with nexus devices? They are earning tons from just advertising on Facebook itself. Even if they sell it at cost or with profit I am fine either way since I get to buy one. They might profit from selling the SDK to developers in the future but I doubt they will try anything funny with consumer.

        nexus devices i can root and put on my own version of android (completely skip gapps if i wish to as well). Not sure i'll be able to do that with occulus - time will tell.

        Edit: Just to clarify - google are becoming just as bad as facebook. Just in this case you can circumvent their base OS relatively easily.

        Last edited 13/06/14 9:09 am

          I don't understand what is your complaint. It is a feature that Google allow for android to be open for ease of use but you are using it as a negative point and at the same time, you root your devices because of that feature.

          Even if they lock down the Oculus OS like iOS devices or keep it open like android, people will still complain about it.

            Wait - what? Google are migrating a ton of features from the core OS (open source) to Gapps (closed). This, atm, is still relatively easy to circumvent due to the numerous forks made from android (CM Aokp etc etc). But as time goes on more and more features are becoming closed off from base android.

            My concern is that occulus is going to head down a similar road. Locking features behind a service or some shitty facebook linkage - shutting down the original opensource nature of the project.

              Sorry mate I have misunderstood when you were speaking about gapps. I understand your concern and hopefully the oculus OS allow for easy use of plugin.

              But I do think that it will move away from being open source. It is sort of no longer a community project but a Facebook product.

    is going to allow us to deliver a much better consumer V2
    Hmm wonder if its worth holding out for V2....nah who am I trying to kid lol...give it to me now!

    When I looked at the last half of this long video on the Control VR kickstarter page....

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/controlvr/control-vr-motion-capture-for-vr-animation-and-mor
    (If you hadn't seen Control VR lets you do arm and some body movements (like a couple of powergloves and a some body stuff too. It looks awesome).

    ....I properly understood why a social media company like Facebook is interested in VR. The second half of the Control VR vid is just a bunch of people with oculus rifts and control VR on just messing about chatting and throwing things and interracting. It was, to me, mesmerising. When you look at a vid like this, you can see the future of social media - people in virtual spaces just hanging out. I think facebook was just trying to be visionary and stay ahead of the curve. Already people are getting a bit jaded with the facebook service, so facebook the company has to be thinking a couple of steps ahead to stay relevant.

    I am wary of the potential for metadata gathering and advertising from a big company hooking into the oculus (or, more plausibly, a selection of social media applications that make use of it), but I'm too excited for the future to care - if facebook can speed up the onset of VR and lower the cost, good luck to them.

    Oculus have been saying for a long time even before the FB acquisition that they wanted to sell the OR at the lowest price point possible so they could saturate the market, they even said if they could give them away they would. This is nothing new.

      Yeah, but (obviously) oculusVR still need to make a profit, and with the oculus rift their only product, they would need to sell it at a particular price to make that profit. Facebook has other revenue sources, they can afford to actually make a loss on the Oculus and have lower prices than oculusVR could manage on its own. I think it is new that facebook is communicating that they also are intent on getting the tech out there by keeping the price low - the oculus rift hardware isn't their cash cow, but getting a solid presence in at the earliest stages of social VR is.

      Last edited 13/06/14 11:33 am

    Yeah not new, the original idea was to at some point be able to give the oculus away for free & have it readily available for any consumer.

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