Quoted: Oculus Rift’s low price, low expectations

“I’m hopeful we’re not going to be losing money on (the hardware), but I think everybody agrees that if we can do it at cost that would be great for everybody.”

— Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, in an interview with Ars Technica, explaining that the company’s Rift virtual reality headset will be priced as low as possible and the Facebook-owned company would be happy just breaking even for the time being. Iribe said he had conservative estimates for the Rift’s debut, hoping for  “north of a million units (in sales).” “It’s not going to be a console-scale market,” Iribe said. “The goal is to set expectations low, get the enthusiasts and early adopters to get into the space, get their feedback, get developers making really great content” for now, with the long-term goal of making the follow-up version of the Rift a smash hit once a “killer app for VR” is developed. Iribe told the tech blog he hopes Oculus, whose $2 billion acquisition by Facebook is set to close soon, will have the Rift in stores by the end of 2015.


At top: An E3 attendee tries out the Oculus Rift on June 10, 2014 in Los Angeles.  (Photo by Dan R. Krauss/Getty Images)


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  • John Krisfalusci

    Listen, will this be like the Matrix? In other words, the immersion is so life-like that you pretty much want to stay in there and not face reality again? Now, I’m not talking about Triple A games per-se, but what about other fully immersive programs and/or simulators?

    I mean are we really ready for this? What about the long term studies on the mental psyche and how your eyes will be affected for long periods of exposure? How will graphic and intensive scenarios affect the brain just like how there’s a rating board for violent games today? I dunno I don’t think we are ready yet, I think more research is needed before jumping so fast to VR. =(

    • thatryanguy

      This will be like sitting close enough to your 3d monitor that you can’t see the edge of it, and rather than using an analog stick to control the camera, you turn your head. The Oculus Rift is a visual display system, that’s all. You’re not going to feel things when they happen to the character you’re playing, and since you’re still sitting in a chair, using controllers to control your actions, you’re not going to convince your brain that it’s actually in the game world.

      • Jamwara

        I agreed with you up until the last part about not being fully immersed… Have you ever used a VR headset in a demo? While you only have sight/sound that can be enough to give you vertigo, or get your adrenals pumping. Virtual Reality is not Actual Reality but it’s pretty damn close. If you haven’t experienced VR I would recommend checking it out whenever you get a chance if you’ve not already done so.

        • thatryanguy

          And you’re fully entitled to disagree with me. However, you’re wrong in assuming that I’ve never used VR. My friend owns the OR dev kit, so I’ve had plenty of opportunity to try out games and demos that were modified or designed for specific use with the headset. Yes it provides a significant improvement compared to the immersion you get just playing on a screen, but no, I’ve never been so fully immersed that I forgot I was playing a game or whatnot.

          • Jamwara

            I didn’t assume anything, I asked if you had ever used VR.

          • thatryanguy

            Fair enough. The subsequent explanation made it sound like you thought I had no experience with the stuff. I have a quick defensive reflex, so it’s totally possible that I misinterpreted your intent, and I apologize for that.

          • Greg Lanciotti

            Doesnt seem like youve really tried it. Saying its not much more immersive than a monitor just doesnt make sense

          • Jason Garrett

            Do yourself a favor, find a friend that is REALLY into simulated racing. Not Gran Turismo or other such garbage, find a PC gamer who is into iRacing or Assetto Corsa and has a full cockpit setup (not a simple Playseat) with tactile transducers (or even full motion) and then get into a race and tell me you don’t get “lost in the moment.” I’ve got such a setup, and I can tell you it’s amazing. I’ve got a formula car style cockpit and sitting just like the driver, feeling the force feedback, the vibrations from the engine and road surface, and being completely immersed with the Oculus Rift, yes, it’s amazing. I get alongside another car going through a corner, racing hard, and yes, I completely lose myself in the virtual world and forget that I’m playing a game.

            The first time I used the Rift I drove a LeMans Prototype in iRacing, touched the grass with my right rear tire and went into a quick spin and right into a wall, as I slid towards the wall, I instinctually braced myself for impact and flenched my whole body as I hit the wall.

            If none of what I said qualifies as virtual reality, I don’t know what does. I guess you guys are expecting a Holodeck? In the future yeah, that will be awesome, but for now, this absolutely is virtual reality in my opinion.

          • Adam Collins

            thats what i have been saying, OR plus a steel battalion style controller setup = win

      • Greg Lanciotti

        your use of the OR is questionable. The OR is what virtual reality is. It’s not called visual display. It’s called virtual reality. The OR is true virtual reality, but without a perfect standardized input system. It’s like saying “real life is just like looking at a 3d monitor, except that your head is the camera instead of the joystick… it’s a visual display phenomenon but not actual reality” You become visually “fully immersed” in the OR, just like you do in real life bucko… why don’t you join the “i’m an arrogant debbie downer” ‘s club

        • thatryanguy

          Oh, I’m sorry, is my opinion wrong cause it doesn’t match yours? It certainly couldn’t be that someone has a different point of view than you on the internet. Better break out the straw man arguments. You know who else used those? Hitler.

          If you honestly believe that the OR; a headset with 2 monitors built into it; is as immersive as the neurological/sensory overrides shown in the Matrix, then I’m calling your own OR experience into question. For instance, I personally wasn’t on psychotropic drugs any of the times I used it, maybe that’s why I could only get visually immersed?

          • Greg Lanciotti

            This is about vr being viable. It is way more than simply staring closely at a screen . Its natural stereoscopic, high fidelity 3d, eyes focus on infinity, w gyrosensors, and all the other directional sensors. At this point in technology, believe it or not, we have come close to making that perfect. Thats when vr is found. As soon as you get to that point with perfect reality replicated fusion, the magic happens. You pop into the scene and it’s very believable.
            Its not all the senses but its near visually perfect which accounts for most of an experienc. Other senses being replicated will take more time. Obviously we arent at a point where you can perfectly replicate physical reality, but you dont need that yet. Imagine being in your living room and donning the headset and immediately you are transported to the beach. The beach scene surrounds you as if you are actually sitting on the sand facing the waves that are a dozen or so yards away. You look down at the sand all around you and swear that it’s real. You look back at the waves almost forgetting that you are in your living room. “Wow”, you say

      • Riz

        Thatryanguy makes a good point. OR is a visual display system. ‘Virtual Reality’ is a name to describe a theory of full immersion. Let’s not argue semantics here. Anyone who thinks you will get lost in an OR game or simulation as it’s “fully immersive” etc. has obviously never experienced the use of one and chances are doesn’t fully understand the nature of what it is. As Thatryanguy said internal sensory generation is NON EXISTANT with the OR (c’mon, it’s a head unit that covers the eyes only), control is handled by outside devices and the camera moves in relation to your head movements, not your eyes. OR is nowhere near the true concept of VR; we are years (if not decades) away from that. It’s a fine start however. All these folks coming out with turds like “The OR is true virtual reality” need to sit down and do a bit of reading on the subject of virtual reality and put down the Lawnmower Man DVD.

    • Greg Lanciotti

      don’t listen to jamwara. Yes it feels like you are inside the virtual world. Yes, like the matrix. But, we just don’t have the perfect input yet. In other words, the worlds are so believable that it feels weird to the user that they can’t actually touch the things in the world, etc

      • Jamwara

        .. hehe ..

        I stuck up for VR saying it was incredibly immersive and wonderfully great. Is this misinterpretation day?

        • Greg Lanciotti

          I think I meant the guy below you. Yes

    • John Smith

      No. It lacks haptic feedback. You won’t feel anything in the game you’re playing without using experimental tech that still can’t do the job.

  • T Sheehan

    It sounds like they’re being utterly realistic about this, and looking at the long view despite all the hype that they know surrounds their product. That’s a good thing. 1 million units won’t be an issue within the first few months of a consumer version release, they’ve already sold over 50k of the original (and dizziness inducing) DevKit 1, and have already presold a huge number of DevKit 2 which solved most of DK1’s issues.
    They’re setting the stage for long term success and slow integration into our culture, a culture filled with hipsters and media pundits who will do anything to pooh-pooh all things new as “gimmicks” and sabotage innovation by word of mouth and bloggy rants for their own aggrandizement.

  • GW74

    There already is a killer app for Oculus Rift – Elite: Dangerous

    • ZeePee


      Elite: Dangerous is perfectly suited for the Rift, and it looks incredible already. It’s going to blow minds with CV1.

      You’re right, they don’t realize yet but they already have a killer app!

    • Subterflume

      So agreed. It blew my mind to a million pieces at E3 and is the game I’ve wanted for years. I’d pick up a DK2 just for that. All you drooling fools babbling that it’s just like 3DTV just need to give Elite a spin with an HD rift!

  • Nicholas

    “Presence IS the killer ap” – Sony

  • Billy Ray

    I really hate when I see people and articles ect.. call video games Apps. I mean… why not just call it a video game, calling it an app makes me think I have to use it on my phone and I can only pick it up in the apple store or google store.