Facebook Inc.’s Oculus said it will begin accepting preorders for the Rift virtual-reality headset Wednesday, at which point at least one longstanding question can be answered: the device’s cost.
Last May, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey said the Rift, together with a computer powerful enough to run the system, would cost in the ballpark of $1,500. Oculus’s website lists three PCs capable of running the Rift that cost about $1,000. That suggests that the headset alone could be priced around $500, though an official price hasn’t been given yet.
Another outstanding question is the launch date. The Rift is still slated for a first-quarter launch, though nothing more specific has been announced. Oculus disclosed a setback last week when it said the Touch, a pair of controllers designed to work with the headset, would be delayed to the second half of the year.
Whether virtual-reality games will be good enough to nudge people into buyers is a concern. Games won’t be the only applications for virtual reality — Mark Zuckerberghas nodded to VR being the future of communication when explaining why Facebook dropped $2 billion to buy Oculus in 2014. Still, games will be at the forefront. Oculus last week said the Rift will include a new adventure game, “Lucky’s Tale,” plus the space-themed shooter “EVE: Valkyrie” for people who preorder.