RANCHO PALOS VERDES, California — If you want to experience virtual reality with an Oculus Rift, the cost to get started — PC, headset, and all — will be less than $1,500.
Oculus has been pretty cagey about what the price for its Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset will be, and chief executive Brendan Iribe isn’t wavering from that position — much. But he did give some guidance today at the Code Conference here.
He said that the price for a Rift headset, plus a new PC with sufficient horsepower to support the 3D display, will be less than $1,500. Higher-end systems will cost more, Iribe said, but that will be the minimum cost to get started from zero.
If you already have a PC but need to upgrade the video card to a high-performance version capable of supporting the Rift, the combination will cost “well under $1,000,” Iribe said.
Video cards that work with the Rift, such as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, go for $360 and up, depending on the model. That means the cost for the Rift will be “well under” $640.
The development kit for the Oculus Rift costs $350.
That corresponds with the hints that the company has given in the past: That the Rift will cost more than the $200 Samsung Gear VR (which uses Oculus technology) and no more than the price of a typical game console.
Oculus, which is part of Facebook, has said that it plans to ship its device in the first quarter of 2016. It will be compatible only with “beefy” Windows PCs, at least at first.
“Down the road, we definitely want to support Mac,” Iribe said. “We want to support smaller form factor machines. We want to support plugging directly into your phone.”
But he gave no timeline for these ambitions.