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Oculus Rift: Dead in the Water?

Accepted submission by takyon at 2017-07-10 16:53:42
Techonomics

Facebook has cut the price of the Oculus Rift [technologyreview.com] for the second time this year. It debuted at $800, was cut to $600 in March, and is now $400. Is there real trouble in the virtual reality market, or is it just a normal price correction now that early adopters have been served?

It means that the Rift now costs less than the package offered by its cheapest rival, Sony, whose PlayStation VR currently totals $460 including headset and controllers.

Even so, it's not clear that it will be enough to lure people into buying a Rift. A year ago, our own Rachel Metz predicted [technologyreview.com] that the Rift would struggle against Sony's offering because the former requires a powerful (and expensive) gaming computer to run, while the latter needs just a $350 PlayStation 4 game console.

Jason Rubin, vice president for content at Oculus, tells Reuters [reuters.com] that the reduction isn't a sign of weak product sales, but rather a decision to give the headset more mass market appeal now that more games are available. Don't believe it: this is the latest in a string of bad news for the firm, which has also shut down its nascent film studio [technologyreview.com], shuttered in-store demo stations of its hardware [technologyreview.com], and stumped up $250 million as part of a painful intellectual property lawsuit [polygon.com] in the last six months.

Here's a February story about the Oculus demo stations at Best Buy stores being shut down [marketplace.org].

Previously: Facebook/Oculus Ordered to pay $500 Million to ZeniMax [soylentnews.org]
Google Partnering With HTC and Lenovo for Standalone VR Headsets [soylentnews.org]


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