GDC 2017: Oculus Slashes Hardware Prices – Rift and Touch Together Now $600

by Joe Durbin and Ian Hamilton • March 1st, 2017

Facebook is announcing a $100 price drop for both its Oculus Rift headset and Oculus Touch controllers, bringing the “all-in” price for the system to around $600.

The $200 price drop represents the strongest attempt yet by Facebook’s Oculus to push high end VR firmly into mainstream. The price of the Rift is being brought down to $500 from $600, while Touch now costs $100 (a pair of the controllers previously cost $200).

oculus-rift

“Less expensive hardware means more people have more money to spend on content and more people in general come in,” said Jason Rubin, the company’s head of VR content, in an interview with UploadVR. “This is 101 for expanding your ecosystem.”

Rift was originally launched at the end of March last year bundled with only an Xbox controller. In December the company added the more immersive Touch controllers to bring player’s hands into VR. Oculus hardware is sold at cost, according to the company, but since the hiring of a new Chief Operations Officer, Hans Hartmann, last year, those costs reportedly have come down.

“His job has basically been to go and work our supply chain,” Rubin said of Hartmann’s role. “We didn’t have that at Oculus when we first came out. We came out with a product that was done by a bunch of engineers who said ‘what does this cost?’ We heard an answer from the manufacturers and we paid that cost. But Hans’ entire career has been going back to manufacturers and saying ‘come on’… we didn’t’ have that capability until Hans came in.”

A decrease in component prices for Oculus is “part of the difference in price,” according to Rubin.

“A year is when we always intended to take a serious look at price,” he said. “We figured for the first year price wasn’t going to be the biggest determining factor [for consumers]…We think at this point price is a major factor so it’s the right time for us to focus on this…We are very comfortable with this price. It’s sustainable.”

oculus-touch-7

When asked if the price of Rift or Touch could continue to fall, Rubin said “I think this is a pretty compelling price drop and we aren’t going to be dropping it again in the next few months. This is the kind of thing you look at every six months to a year.”

The change widens the price gap between the Rift and HTC Vive, which was its chief competition for much of last year. Vive was priced at around $800 from the start and included hand controllers and sensors for room scale VR, but lacked some of the comfort niceties of the Rift. For example, the Rift included integrated audio and a nice head strap that made it easy to get into VR quickly. The Vive, by default, uses ear buds that introduce extra wires into a setup. HTC announced this week is will be selling an accessory that essentially matches these Rift features for an additional $99.

The HTC Vive VR headset

The HTC Vive VR headset

The Rift can also run software from both the Oculus Store and Steam, which makes it versatile from a content perspective while Vive owners use a hack to access Oculus Store content. The Rift, though, suffered from tracking issues in the largest setups when it debuted its Touch controllers. The company believes it solved many of those issues with its latest software update this week.

If you purchased Touch in the last 30 days, Facebook is offering $50 in Oculus store credit to ease the blow of the price drop for recent buyers.

“The price of these VR headsets are going to come down. It’s just something we’re going to have to deal with,” Rubin said, adding: “We are not replacing the Rift in the next year or two. This product is going to be with us for a while.”

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  • Justos

    DAMN, GG Oculus. This is great!

  • Mane Vr

    Oculus has been great to their customers they lets us play game outside of their sdk, they give us free games, they gave us asw so the spec to run their hmd drop, and now drop the price so we can tell our friends to jump into vr…

  • twattermaster

    HTC – your move

  • does that apply in the UK? didn’t the price go up £50 last year because of Brexit (I just threw up a little). I may also be remembering it wrong.

  • Crunchy005

    “The Rift can also run software from both the Oculus Store and Steam, which makes it versatile from a content perspective while Vive owners use a hack to access Oculus Store content.” – Because SteamVR is a completely open platform and Oculus went back from it’s original values and closed up their’s…

    “If you purchased Touch in the last 30 days, Facebook is offering $50 in Oculus store credit to ease the blow of the price drop for recent buyers.” – Lol, early adoption risk.

    • zambutu

      can’t you just return it and buy it again?

      • Crunchy005

        They are probably trying to keep people from doing that.

  • Mourz

    Confirmed off the record: “we are cutting price to reduce inventory before being forced to pull it from the shelves from a court-ordered injunction.”

    • Mourz

      Also said they are working on a vr 2 that will comply with court order.

      • spo8

        No they didn’t.

        • Mourz

          Read the news!

          • spo8

            I did. They said they aren’t planning on releasing another version of the Rift for at least 2 years.

    • Psilox

      Source on that?

    • spo8

      Haha, that’s absolutely not confirmed. The only thing Zenimax got them on was Palmer breaking an NDA. There is no way the injunction goes through. It’s just Zenimax swinging for the fences.

  • koenshaku

    I paid $700 for my HTC vive over the holidays which I think is still a better deal since you have to buy the extra camera for the rift and still deal with tracking issues.

    • Arv

      The tracking issues have been fixed (for me personally) and I only have two sensors in opposing corners without any problems at all. 2 sensors in opposing corners will give the same amount of occlusion as 2 Lighthouses in opposing corners. Oculus recommend 3 sensors because they’ve always been about Premium experiences with VR, you less occlusion with 3 sensors than you have with 2 sensors or 2 Lighthouses in opposing corners.

      The Touch controllers (from a developer perspective) are also better designed and have better functionality. The capacitive buttons can be used as button replacements and give players more presence.

      The Rift also has the advantage that you don’t need as powerful PC to run it compared to the Vive thanks to ASW.

      • koenshaku

        The two sensors allow you to do room scale ok?

        • Arv

          Yup. You can do room scale with 2 sensors without a problem.

          And as I’ve already mentioned ASW in the Oculus SDK allows you to run VR games with a lower spec PC with a Rift compared to a Vive. If you have a more powerful PC than the current Vive recommended spec it will also allow you to increase your super sampling too.

    • Psilox

      The Vive is a great system, but Rift tracking is working really well right now, especially with the new update to Oculus Home today. Really fixed any and all tracking issues I had left.

  • Now that is a genuinely brilliant price drop right there.

  • wowgivemeabreak

    Great for future buyers and VR in general but a bit of a slap in the face for those of us who pre ordered the touch controllers given how this comes 3 months later.

  • polysix

    The rift was never and has never been sold at cost. That was utter bullshit from a company known as bullshit merchants. Rift Inc case and extras cost $200 on a non breakdown (Google it) and factoring in a bit for r and d .. wages and support is still nowhere near the overpriced b’s figure they pulled out of their ass. Even at this new price it’s still not at cost and still overpriced. Same goes for Vive.

    • polysix

      Also Google will testify… Oculus Nate on record saying “sure we could have priced rift cheaper but wanted to emulate the apple model and price it high to be an aspirational purchase” well that clearly backfired when they released a sub par hmd with tons of quality issues and a stupid pack in gamepad. This new price is where it already should have been… With touch at launch and should NOW be getting another two hundred dollar cut. Marketing bollocks.

      • spo8

        Gonna need a source on that.

      • Justos

        troll. stop liking your own comments

  • johann jensson

    Finally. Been waiting for price drops for half a year already.

  • unreal_ed

    ” We came out with a product that was done by a bunch of engineers who said ‘what does this cost?’ We heard an answer from the manufacturers and we paid that cost. But Hans’ entire career has been going back to manufacturers and saying ‘come on’… we didn’t have that capability until Hans came in.”

    Really?!? That’s pretty ridiculous that you’d try to push out a major piece of technology without having someone like that on board… idk if they meant that they didn’t have someone of his caliber for this, but if they actually didn’t have anyone it’s ridiculous

  • Totally Magical Unicorn

    Question is…should I now buy it even though I have the Vive? Bc I hate it when good games come out for Rift and I can’t play them..

  • Lisa Keaton

    I got the $50 Oculus Store Credit. Bought my Rift Jan 28.

  • Adderstone VR

    Great news!
    …I see the the third sensor price also dropped from $79 to $59…will be ordering mine soon.

  • Junt

    Price cut by 50% after 3 months of a hardware launch is not a good look. Their brand is taking a dent right now.

  • Ceciel Helder

    The pricedrop is great for the holdouts sitting on the fence. For the preorder folks it’s a kick in the nuts. Especially the touch controllers and extra sensor. Dropping $100 on the Rift itself makes sense. Dropping the Touchcontrollers $100 is a big FU to the early adopters. Barely had the things for three months and you cut the price in half? I’ll get the Riftv2, or whatever they’re going to call it, but no more preorders. I’ll wait a solid 6 months before buying anything. I expected a pricedrop to happen after more competition or better tech showing up. All the touch controller buyers should’ve gotten a $100 store credit.