Oculus Rift shipping in March for $599: but is it worth the wait?

by: Kris CarlonJanuary 6, 2016


It seems like forever that we’ve been waiting for the consumer version of the Oculus Rift to appear on shelves. While that moment still hasn’t happened we at least now have a firm date for when it will: March 2016. We now also have a price for the retail version of $599. But is it worth it?

Way back in the depths of VR time, when Oculus Rift was the be-all-and-end-all of the platform, it seemed like it would always be on top. But then delay after delay caused it to be beaten to market by countless other devices: Samsung Gear VR, AntVR, Homido and even Google Cardboard. Heck, the HTC Vive might even be widely available first.

Oculus Rift included

The Oculus RIft set includes the VR headset, sensor, one Xbox One wireless controller, Oculus Remote and two games.

So will Oculus Rift be able to stack up after such a long wait or has it been eclipsed by all the other VR headsets to appear in the interim? That’s hard to say, considering Samsung’s Gear and the Homido VR headset both rely on a smartphone and HTC’s Vive still isn’t ready for prime time (it arrives in April).

oculus rift vr e3 2015See also: Our Oculus Rift VR reactions from E3 20158

One thing is for certain though: Oculus has certainly had the time to get things right. There’s absolutely no sense of urgency with the launch of the Rift, so we can only hope that time has been well spent making the experience as seamless and perfect as possible.

Oculus Rift underneath

At $599, Oculus Rift isn’t exorbitantly expensive either. We still don’t have a final price on the HTC Vive but it has been dubbed a “super-premium” gadget, requiring a seriously high-end gaming PC to run.

With Google Cardboard at the low end of the spectrum and Gear VR in the middle, Oculus Rift looks set to fill the mid-to high range with HTC’s offering at the too-expensive-for-practically-everyone end of the market. Having said that, Oculus Rift may well just be the perfect price for a seriously good VR experience without going overboard.
Oculus Rift Touch controllers

While the earliest pre-order units will ship in March, it didn’t take long for that date to be pushed back to April.

So if you want to have a Rift of your very own for the summer, you might want to pre-order sooner rather than later.

The Oculus Rift price is $599 in the US, £499 in the UK and €699 in Europe and everyone that pre-orders Rift will secure a place in line for the Touch controllers which will launch in the second half of 2016.

Have you tried VR? Which VR unit do you think is the best value?

  • TheIcemanCometh

    That’s an Xbox One controller, not an Xbox 360 …

  • bOgGaRt

    don’t forget the $1000 PC that we would need to use this thing! I can live with my Gear VR for now, atleast until the screendoor effect is reduced further!

    • MrMagoo

      Pretty sure the screen door effect should be much less noticeable in some of the these dedicated headsets. Pretty sure that’s the point of them to begin with.

      • bOgGaRt

        As far as I have heard, the DK2 SDE was far worse than Gear VR due to very high screen resolution of 2015 flagships. Now, I haven’t heard anybody talking about the SDE in Consumer version yet. I would also like to try the features of position tracking, see how much difference does that really make considering we can’t walk around due to all the wires!

      • Arcilius

        What is a screen door effect ?

  • ETR

    I’ve been waiting almost 3 and a half years for the SOB to FINALLY come to market. You’re damn right I am in. $600 is a huge chunk of change for a peripheral, but considering all of the possibilities, gaming and beyond, I have really high expectations now that it’s finally a real consumer product.

  • Dusan

    ROFL @ Euro pricing. Might as well ask a friend from USA to buy it for me, open the box and send it as gift, it will be way cheaper.

  • Bilal Mahmood

    All I want is the nerve gear from Sword Art Online.

    • Arcilius

      Thats what I have been thinking about all the time.

  • umfrot

    Considering I work in a studio the price for this shouldn’t really matter. I can just add it to the budget. All I hope is that the wait was worth it and that they’ve reduced the vr sickness to a point where we can sit and use it for more than an hour. 1 hour of use before the sickness sets in is the least I’m asking for.