The Oculus Rift is here, but it's sort of expensive. The virtual reality headset is priced at $599 in the U.S. with an expected ship date of March for the earliest preorders. With a few months before the Rift is in the hands of consumers, the question remains if one should go ahead and purchase the headset. Here are few things to consider when deciding whether to shell out for an Oculus Rift.
The Oculus Rift is one of the most anticipated pieces of technology coming out in 2016. The Rift could make VR a household item, or it could go the way of 3D televisions that require bulky glasses. The jury is very much out on how successful the Rift could be, but it won't hurt financially to preorder.
Customers in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Taiwan can preorder a Rift.
To reiterate, we are not making money on Rift hardware. High end VR is expensive, but Rift is obscenely cheap for what it is.
— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) January 6, 2016
All Rift preorders are free with the ability to cancel an order before the product ships. Customers enter their credit card or PayPal information, but are not charged during the preorder. If the idea of VR is less appealing in February than in January, one can simply opt out of purchasing a Rift. Once the ship date arrives, customers will be billed for the VR headset.
Are you buying an Oculus Rift? pic.twitter.com/bxYaZEem3s
— Wario64 (@Wario64) January 6, 2016
The $599 price tag will be a steep obstacle for many consumers. It's more expensive than a PS4 or Xbox One -- known commodities for anyone looking to play video games. There's also the PlayStation VR that will connect with the PS4. Sony has not revealed a price yet, but did say it will be released in the first half of 2016. Ther are also other options, such as the HTC Vive, that could be a competitor to the Rift.
What's in the Box
During the preorder, Oculus Rift will include a wireless Microsoft Xbox One controller, "EVE: Valkyrie," "Lucky's Tale," a sensor, a stand, an Oculus remote, a wireless adapter and the various cables necessary to connect the Rift to a PC.
What's Not in the Box
Oculus has made it a point to note the minimum PC requirements necessary for the Rift. Unless a customer already has a dedicated gaming PC that has an upgraded graphics card and RAM, new Rift owners may need to update their hardware. In order to get the best Rift experience possible, Oculus recommends a graphics card of NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD R9 290. An Intel i5-4590 processor or its equivalent and at least 8GB of RAM. And DMI 1.3 video output, three USB 3.0 ports and an additional USB 2.0 port are also required.
If building an Oculus-ready PC is not an option, there will be bundles available for preorder in February for $1,499, Oculus notes in a blog post.
What Will Be Available in 2016
The Rift preorder includes two games, with only "Lucky's Tale" free after the preorder. Oculus promises over 100 titles by the end of 2016, including "Minecraft" and "Rockband VR." Developer 505 Games announced "Adrift" will be a launch title for Rift. There will also be VR content that customers can access through the Oculus store. Oculus Studios' has already produced "Henry," an animated VR film.