A few weeks ago I wrote about HTC raising the price of the Vive in the UK due to the fallout of Brexit. In that post, I noted that it hopefully wouldn’t happen to the Oculus Rift. No such luck.
Oculus has quietly raised the price of the Rift by £50 in the UK at some point in the past week. When I wrote about the European retailer rollout for the device early last week, the device cost £499, with £30 shipping taking it to £529. Now the price of just the Rift itself is listed at £549 for UK orders. Oculus has a free shipping promotion going on for the rest of the month, but if the mailing price returns to £30 afterwards then it will cost £579 to get the Rift from the Oculus Store.
That’s pretty close to the $599 price of the Rift in the US, though that’s without shipping.
An early indicator of the price hike came last week when UK videogame retailer GAME listed the kit for pre-orders at £549. Oculus confirmed this as the new suggested European retail price, but didn’t say it would be raising its own price tag to meet that. Oculus itself hasn’t commented on the price hike, but we’ve reached out to the company for a statement. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like the Rift will have any extra value added to compensate for the extra £50, which is about the price of a brand new game in the UK.
So why the hike? It’s almost certainly because the value of the Great British Pound has plummeted since the UK voted to leave the European Union earlier this year, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get back to where it was any time soon. That means Oculus (and HTC with the Vive) would be getting less money for every Rift sold, which the company is already claiming to make a loss on.
It looks like UK customers will have to grin and bear the added cost of getting into VR for now. Still, the goal with early VR headsets has always been to make them cheaper and more accessible as fast as possible to help bring about mainstream adoption of the tech. This move is going decidedly in the other direction.