The Oculus Touch Controllers Aren't Cheap

Image: Supplied

After months and months of waiting, Oculus finally lifted the lid on the long-awaited touch controllers for their Rift virtual reality device. They unveiled the price, too, and it wasn't cheap.

In an announcement at Oculus's annual conference, the Facebook-owned company revealed that the Touch controllers would be selling for $US200. On top of that, the Oculus Rift earphones are priced at $US49.

Both will be available for pre-order from Monday, provided you don't baulk at the price. The Rift already costs $US649 for Aussies and New Zealanders. Add another $US200 or more for the Touch controllers, $US132 for shipping (how much Oculus wanted to charge me last time), and you're looking at more than $1300 locally.

Image: Oculus

It costs more to buy VR than it does to build a rig capable of running it. Bloody hell.

Touch controllers will start shipping from December 6. They'll come with The Unspoken, a game that looks akin to wizard duelling, and VR Sports Challenge. The latter is pretty self-explanatory, although it does let you fist fight people on the hockey rink. VR basketball also looks pretty sweet. The controllers will support room-scale VR too — but to get that going, ala the Vive, you'll need to spend an extra $US79 for another Oculus sensor.

$US1116* for all the bells and whistles, then — provided the cost of the Touch controllers isn't an extra $US50 or something, as happened with the Rift when the local price was announced. You can get the full Vive kit for marginally less than that — but unless you really enjoy being an early adopter, damn that's a lot of money.

Update: The previous "bells and whistles" figure didn't include the $US49 for the Oculus headset. My bad.


Comments

    These are the barriers that get in the way of people adopting it and making it viable to develop for.

      Luckey: I’m one of the few people where it’s different. I would spend whatever it was. Gamers are not known to be the most affluent population of people. If something’s even $600, it doesn’t matter how good it is, how great of an experience it is — if they just can’t afford it, then it really might as well not exist. We’re going for the mainstream, but time will tell what the market is.

      Last edited 07/10/16 2:43 pm

        From my perspective, they have a small window of opportunity to make this work, and we're very rapidly coming up to it. The Christmas window is the biggest opportunity, but these are just so expensive that they are putting VR out of the range of a lot of people. $1000 and climbing now, then the hand controllers. Thats hard to justify on something with minimal content.

        It just seems that there are a lot of barriers to making it work well enough, and not enough to get rid of the main one - cost. Once we hit January, if there arent enough sales to justify a good dozen or so games (worth playing) coming out next year, momentum gets lost and we're talking about another lost tech come this time next year.

        I dont have a cash issue myself, but I do have a space issue. I simply dont have 2.5m I can dedicate to what VR needs, so I either go without, or accept paying $1000 plus for something I'm going to be using solely in a chair. Even $600 has that same problem, its just a big number.

        Thats hard to justify for a peripheral. If its $200, its a far easier decision, and one I make without much hesitation.

        What you quote is strange. They are making a gaming device that they dont think gamers will buy. Interesting tactic. I've said plenty of times that I want VR to work. I just dont see enough happening to save it from getting stuck like 3D did. All I see are a minority saying "to hell with the cost, its worth it" and not recognising or understanding the real issues people will face.

        I hope I'm wrong.

          The quote is from Palmer Luckey before the Facebook buyout of Oculus. He was explaining why a VR HMD needed to be around the $300 mark, and that if you charged $600, then VR may as well not exist, for the precise reasons you state. He lost track of that since the FB purchase, and instead started on a path that the VR experience had to be excellent, and therefore it costing a lot more money was justified. My gut feel is that he is wrong, that a reasonable VR experience at the $300 mark would have meant a lot more people would have taken the plunge, getting more developer support and enough momentum maybe to keep going. Now I can't see who is going to keep developing for the Rift in a AAA capacity long term.

    Glad i pulled the trigger on my Vive then.

    Who the hell can afford this stuff?

      Anyone with a job and no kids weighing them down?

        Nice generalisation. I've got a kid yet can still afford it if I want it. As can many I know, but wouldn't buy it due to it being a waste of money at this point.

          From my personal experience my mates without kids all have disposable income, the ones with kids do not, not so much a generalisation as my view based on observed facts.

          Last edited 07/10/16 10:34 am

            I would concur with this general view.

              I'm with @dnr. I have kids, so a console gamer. But to be fair, I also have mates who have kids who reside exclusively in PC land. Don't forget PCs are mostly tax deductable (whether you use them for 'work' or not).

        I have a job and no kids and still couldn't afford it.

        Probably because I'm buying $1500 Batman statues instead, but shhh :P

        Poor choice of words by me perhaps. Two kids and a job here, for what it's worth. I've spent more than the total asking price on lunch for two...

        I'll digress a little:

        Who the hell that has the means to afford this stuff, values it sufficiently to spend money on it?

        So pretty much what Weresmurf said.

          Doesn't change my answer, in fact illustrates it. you have the means to buy one but have other priorities I get that some people value kids/family over everything else and that's there thing... i personally dont see it..

          But also given the fact that the playstation VR is going to be designed and aimed more at people with kids as an entry point, there's obviously an option for everyone and thats a good thing.

            Fair point. It is about priorities. My priority is not buying expensive things now to weigh down my paper with in a year's time.

    So this makes it the same price as the Vive then. What were people expecting?

      Exactly. The price is totally on par with its competitor... also the extra sensor is only needed to expand the play area beyond what you get using 2 sensors (extra included with touch) from what I've been reading.

      Exactly.
      Anyone expecting this to cost the same as PSVR was dreaming.
      People forget how complex this stuff is to engineer on a mass scale, as well as the software driving it all.
      The price is the right price for generation 1, high grade, tracked VR. With tracked controllers.

    As much as I like the look of VR, I have no wonder how many people will actually get into it due to pricing. If there is too little of a community around it I can't see new games being developed for it once the fad is over.

    love to see a overall price comparison between the vive and rift now in AU

    Even the store pictures of the thing look like they're pissed off about this.

    Look at those.

    This is where the PSVR stuff will shine - You only buy the one kit and you get everything you need to start with VR.

    I think it's about $600-700 AUD? I can't remember exactly. Still a hefty price tag, but much better than the $1000+ AUD for a Vive or Oculus.

      I'm getting a PSVR, but the true cost is:
      PS4 (400)
      PSVR (550)
      Camera (80)
      Move, technically optional (120)
      = around 1240

      I've had the PS4 and Camera over 3 years, so my only new costs are the VR & Move (670).

        That's what I mean though - There's a lot of PS4's already sold. the fact you only need to buy the camera, and PSVR headset is a really low entry in comparison.

        With Oculus/Vive you may even have to buy some new PC parts to support it.

    The controllers will support
    room-scale VR too — but to get that going, ala
    the Vive, you’ll need to spend an extra $US79 for
    another Oculus sensor.
    Wait so they're not including a second sensor with the controllers? Or are you talking about a third sensor?

    Wonder how much it'll come to locally. Especially with that bloody shipping...

      I'm not sure what he means, I would imagine triangulation would be required for an accurate measure of a whole room, but the controllers do come with their own sensor, in-fact if you buy the package that has both the headset and the controllers you'll get two sensors.

        Well a single sensor works pretty damn well on its own (with degradation as you get further away of course), extras are more to overcome occlusion issues than anything. I'm considering grabbing an extra just to be safe (should be cheaper getting it all at once than having to shell out for a separate lot of shipping later), but I dunno. Maybe poke around and see what the word on the ground is first.

      You get a second sensor with the controllers, but you have to have three before the room-scale functionality is enabled. Hence the extra $US79.

        No, you don't.

        Room-scale to Oculus means 3 cameras yes - but 'room' to Oculus means a large, living room sized area.
        The second, included camera with Touch is all you need for medium to small 'office' sized rooms.

        For instance - Oculus touch, months ago, working in Hover Junkers with only 2 cameras

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnN6ORLmExo

    I am so baffled how you got to $1060US
    Call the values as below (values in USD):
    650 - The CV1
    200 - Touch controllers
    49 - 'new' headset (though I see nothing about this unit on Oculus' website)
    79 - Oculus sensor (similarly, I don't see this as an available extra on the general website either)
    The above is 980US. or $1110 if we include shipping ($132US).

    Before adding any GST values (which those of us who bought this in 2 transactions will conveniently skip), or conversion rates (and fees) to the equation, I can't work out for the life of me how you reached $1060US. (are you buying an additional 2 Oculus Sensors? The rift comes with one... how many are needed for 'room-scale')

      Oculus sensors were announced at the Oculus Connect conference, along with their price. They're not on the website yet, though. Same goes for the headset.

      As for the $US1060-ish figure -- that wasn't including the headset. So that's a fuck up on my part. Apologies.

    OCULUS is dead to me.
    Facebook buyout was "supposed" to bring the price down.

    Yet they got greedy.

    Fuq them

      It also brought the tech up, what we've got is beyond what they would have been capable of producing without the buyout.

        Oculus should have been the one leading the way in terms of price.
        Now look at the market.

          I'd rather they lead the way in terms of tech. If you want to save money then there's plenty of DK2s around.

            Yeah, but you got your CV1 for free, if you had to shell out another grand for it, you may have felt differently.

            Originally the consumer version of the Rift was going to be $300. Remember this?

            Designed for gamers, by gamers.
            The Rift takes 3D gaming to the next level. There are a number of VR headsets out there, but none that deliver a truly immersive gaming experience. Most products either lack the technical features required for believable immersion or sit at a very high price-point ($20,000+) reserved for the military or scientific community.

            We set out to change all that with the Rift, which is designed to maximize immersion, comfort, and pure, uninhibited fun, at a price everyone can afford.

            And we’re confident we can make the consumer version even more impressive, all without increasing price or sacrificing an ounce of quality.

            How much will the consumer version of the Oculus Rift cost?
            We can’t commit to a particular number yet but our goal is to deliver the highest quality virtual reality experience at a price that all gamers (and their parents) can afford.

            Last edited 08/10/16 2:30 am

              I do remember the days back when the Rift was being pieced together with off-the-shelf components, yes :P But things have changed since then, and others are producing the kinds of consumer headsets that version of the Rift would have been if it continued to follow that path. Thankfully Oculus has moved on to bigger and better things instead.

              I was ready to shell out for mine well before they announced that the kickstarters were getting it for free. All that meant was in the end I could put that earmarked money towards a splurge on the PC to run it instead. And now they've even knocked that barrier to entry down another notch with a minimum spec, thanks to ASW enabling a much higher quality experience on less capable hardware.

    was so sure i was gonna be an early adopter but can't justify the spend at these prices. (also need to get a new rig) and when theres a lack of solid content.
    So for me i'm ok with playing the waiting game.

    Expensive compared to what? The only true competitor is the Vive.
    HTC Vive with controllers $799USD
    Oculus Rift with controllers $798USD

    Glad i went with the Vive, these control's look flimsy, i can hit a wall with the Vive and they just keep going also i tend to play for hours on end, I dont think i could hold my hand's that long with these controlers without pain in the end.
    Any good game that comes out on Oculus is going to get Revive support anyways and all my mates are on steam.
    I'll get the PSVR instead though.

    The Rifts direction seems not in favour of gamers, then again i was a backer, i may be just a bit salty reading this, explains the control's though, they were always going to be Facebook orientated, not durable enough for gaming, then again it is owned by Facebook now :(

    https://www.cnet.com/news/oculus-from-facebook-zuckerberg-luckey/

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