updated 11:40 am EDT, Tue July 16, 2013
Cost of virtual reality headset could be offset by games, content
The CEO of Oculus hopes to offer its virtual reality headset to customers in the future as close to free as possible. Brendan Iribe suggests that the Kickstarter-backed Oculus Rift could end up being given to users at no charge in the distant future, with the possibility of games on the device eventually subsidizing the cost of the headset itself.
In an interview with Edge, Iribe advised that Oculus has been looking at a number of different ways to pass the device to users cheaply, claiming "The lower the price point, the wider the audience." Though the company is currently targeting a possible $300 price point, it is suggested that the company would "love it to be free one day, so how do we get it as close to free as possible?"
Citing the subsidizing of consoles by their manufacturers by taking a cut of games released on the platform, Iribe believes there is a potential for this to happen to the Oculus Rift. "Let's say there was some game you played in VR that everybody loved and everybody played and we made $100 a month - or even $10 a month - at some point the hardware's cheap enough and we're making enough that we could be giving away the headset."
The Oculus Rift reached its initial $250,000 Kickstarter goal within hours of its launch, later finishing its funding run on $2.4 million. After shipping development kits to backers, the company has worked on a "HD" version of the headset that improves the display further, and has gained another $16 million in funding from various investors to accelerate the development of hardware, software, and services.