Oculus Rift won’t cost the earth when it finally launches as a consumer product, founder Palmer Lucky has promised.
“[Price] is to be determined but what I’ve always said is that if VR isn’t affordable it might as well not exist for most people. We’re not looking to make a rich person’s toy, we’re not looking to make a research tool,” Luckey told GamesIndustry.
“We want to make a consumer VR headset that pretty much anyone can afford. You can’t sell an expensive piece of hardware and expect tons of content to show up. We’re not doing market research around what’s the breaking point for people to buy a VR headset; we’re just trying to sell it as cheap as we can while still existing as a company.”
Whatever the consumer product costs, it’s going to represent a bit of slow burn investment for early adopters – unless Oculus Rift can attract enough development support. The company is looking at various ways to help developers on board, including its own in-house productions (including projects from former id Software boss John Carmack) and a publishing arm (led by former EA EVP David DeMartini).
“We’re not at a comfortable point where we can just be handing out tons of free dev kits. We’re co-publishing EVE Valkyrie and we’re working with a lot of other publishers, and big and very small indies,” Luckey said.
“When very interesting VR software comes up, very often we end up talking to the people. And some of those people may end up with similar deals to the EVE Valkyrie deal where we’ll work with them to publish their game because it’s hard to get funding for a VR game right now.
“It’s risky enough to get funding for a normal game. They’re betting on you making a fun game, and with VR they’re betting on you making a fun game and that VR will be successful. Both of which are long-shot bets. Of course, we believe VR is going to be successful so we’re only betting on your game being fun. So we’ve been spending some of our money investing in content. We want to help people.”