At today’s Code Conference we may have received a bit of a tip as to what the price of the consumer Rift will be.
According to Brendan Iribe, Oculus’ CEO, “we are looking at an all-in price, if you have to go out and actually need to buy a new computer and you’re going to buy the Rift … at most you should be in that $1,500 range.” Extrapolating that a bit and comparing it to the minimum recommended specs that Oculus announced a couple weeks ago we can get a hint as to what the consumer Rift price range will be.
Here’s a minimum specs rig that I put together on PCPartPicker. This rig includes all the minimum recommended parts with brands that had the cheapest available price (give or take a few dollars dependent on reviews – as any consumer would do). I have also included some peripherals like a mouse, keyboard, and monitor that will be pretty necessary for operation of the machine. It is possible to build something slightly cheaper (~$100 less) especially if you don’t include things like an SSD or monitor.
CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($74.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
SSD Storage (Boot Drive): A-Data Premier Pro SP600 64GB Solid State Drive ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($51.67 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB SSC ACX 2.0 Video Card ($309.30 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake Versa H22 ATX Mid Tower Case ($33.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 600W ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ NCIX US)
Wireless Network Adapter: Belkin F9L1001 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($4.99 @ Micro Center)
Monitor: Dell E1911 60Hz 19.0" Monitor ($53.05 @ Amazon)
Keyboard: Logitech K120 Wired Standard Keyboard ($6.99 @ NCIX US)
Mouse: Kensington K72356US Wired Optical Mouse ($5.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $900.41 (with discounts) – $965.65 (no discounts)
Using this hardware price point against Iribe’s statements today we can interpret the consumer Rift will cost between $500-600, although this is nowhere near official yet.
PC parts prices shift, and there are many months between now and the release – so it’s entirely possible this rig would cost less at that point, but it is also hard to imagine the Rift itself costing more than $600. That price point would put the Rift a couple hundred dollars above the range most people in the industry had assumed ($300-400) but squarely in the same range as new consoles or phones. Only thing is you don’t also need a $900 computer to run those.
There is also the possibility that Iribe was basing that range on premade systems with that spec set – which can cost around $1100 – which would shift the Rift price point to the originally anticipated range. Additionally, if you included a Windows license that could drive up the computer cost another $60-100 potentially bringing the price back down within the feasible range.
Either way, virtual reality is more than worth it – and the fact of the matter is that many of the earliest adopters will have a rig built that meets the minimum specs. And for those who don’t – there’s always other options.