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Oculus hopes the consumer Rift will sell for $200 to $400

Oculus hopes the consumer Rift will sell for $200 to $400

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Oculus — which recently announced its partnership with Samsung for a Galaxy Note 4-based mobile VR system — is hoping to sell the final version of its own Rift headset for between $200 and $400, co-founder Nate Mitchell told Eurogamer in an interview earlier this week. "That could slide in either direction depending on scale, pre-orders, the components we end up using, business negotiations," he continued. Oculus began shipping its first Rift development kit in the spring of 2013, and its second (and final) development kit came out in July, but there's never been a firm date for a consumer edition, and that hasn't changed. Here, co-founder Palmer Luckey wouldn't even confirm if it would be shipping in 2015. But he did say that Oculus knows what will be in the final edition, including improved resolution, a higher screen refresh rate, and a lighter design.

This price point isn't so different to what Oculus executives have suggested in the past. The first development kit cost $300, the second costs $350, Oculus has said before that it's targeting a $300 price point, and the latest word is that it will sell at or near the cost of production. "It's going to be as cheap as possible," Luckey told Eurogamer. Oculus is currently working on an even lower-cost option, Samsung's Gear VR, a headset with lenses and an Oculus tracking sensor that fits around the newly announced Galaxy Note 4. The Gear VR doesn't have all the features of the Rift, and even with performance tweaks by Oculus chief technology officer John Carmack, the graphics won't match up to a PC. But it's a wireless option that will likely prove easier to set up and use.

Oculus is currently working with game developers, film studios, and other parts of the media to build out a catalog of virtual reality experiences, which could ultimately make or break VR. While it's now facing some level of competition from Sony, which introduced its own headset prototype called Project Morpheus this spring, Oculus has so far welcomed other companies into the fledgling VR space — a number of developers are working for both platforms. "If they do turn [Project Morpheus] into a product ... then they'll invest into the ecosystem, which means that more developers will have more money to make better games. And also there'll be a broader audience for VR games," says Mitchell. For now, the next news we're likely to get on the Rift will come at Oculus Connect, a developer conference being held on September 19th and 20th.