During an official blog post Oculus announced that its VR headset bundled with hand tracking controllers will be selling for $399. The limited sale is scheduled for six weeks, as a part of the “Summer of Rift” promotion. The new price is almost half of the cost of the same hardware only six months ago.
This is the second price drop this year for the Oculus which has lagged behind the HTC Vive in sales. For gamers looking to jump on the VR hype train this is welcomed news. The biggest hurdle to get VR to the masses is the entry point for a VR setup. With an affordable hardware package a complete VR ready system should only run around $1,000.
While this price drop may be great for cost conscious consumers, there may also be some trepidation to the idea of this massive of a price drop so soon after initial release. The “Summer of Rift” promotion may just be a push to get Oculus into more homes, rather than a Hail Mary from a floundering piece of hardware. No one can deny that the Oculus has lagged behind competition, however, this lowered cost could be due to cheaper components being manufactured to get out more units.
The price drop could also be a signal that a new version of the hardware is on the horizon. Oculus is set to have its fourth annual Connect convention in October. It’s possible that we could see the announcement of an Oculus 2.0. During last years event, they showed off a wireless model that could be a hint at things to come.
No matter what the cause of the price drop is, the real winner is the consumer. VR hardware has always been a high end investment, especially for the PC gamer. A $399 headset and controllers is a fantastic way to get into VR gaming along with tons of other big discounts of Oculus games as a part of the “Summer of Rift” sales promotion.