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.
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).
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.
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.
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?