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Virtual reality just got a little cheaper today for PC owners.
Oculus VR announced this morning that it’s cutting the price of both its Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) and the hand-tracking Oculus Touch motion controllers by $100. Effective immediately, you can now pick up the Rift for $500 (down from $600), and a pair of Touch controllers for $100 (down from $200) from Oculus and its retail partners.
Additionally, bundles containing both the Rift and Touch are now $598 (originally $798). Those who bought either the Rift or the Touch in the last 30 days before today’s news will receive a $50 credit for Oculus’s digital store.
It’s a surprising move from the Facebook-owned company, especially since the Rift is only a year old — the consumer version launched in March 2016 — and the Touch controllers debuted just two months ago (read our review here). The steep price cut will help Oculus sell more hardware in the nascent but burgeoning VR market. According to research firm SuperData, it’s a business that’ll be worth $14 billion by 2020.
“Last year was all about getting the hardware out there, getting the software out there — really enabling developers to build great content,” said Oculus vice president of product Nate Mitchell in an interview with GamesBeat. “This year, the focus is really around bringing more people into VR.”
He later added that the new prices “should let even more folks who’ve been waiting to get into VR [but couldn’t because of the high cost] to jump in.”
With the change, the combined cost of Oculus Rift and Touch is now $200 cheaper than Valve’s and HTC’s Vive system, which comes with the HMD and its own set of motion controllers for $799. Sony’s PlayStation VR, meanwhile, is $399 for the HMD alone, or $499 in a bundle that includes one HMD, two motion controllers, and a VR game.
Of course, all these prices doesn’t factor in the cost of the hardware needed to run the VR headsets in the first place. You need a decent gaming PC to power the Rift and Vive, and a PlayStation 4 console for PSVR.
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