It’s not about the destination, it’s about the way there. It could be said that it’s not about the final price of an item, but how it was determined through the time it was developed. Take the Oculus, the Rift VR headset and how company founder Palmer Luckey screwed it up — by his own admission.
For perspective, Luckey initially told the media that an optimal PC for Rift use would cost $1,500. But that gave us no practical indication of the headset’s price — until one Palmer addressed developers and said that it would come around the “ballpark” of $350.
We got the release details yesterday and were left wondering in what kind of ballpark $600 was.
It was time for the face of Oculus to face the music. When Reddit user codisms questioned why “the messaging about the price was so poor,” Luckey apologized and responded by saying he made a major mistake.
As an explanation, not an excuse: during that time, many outlets were repeating the “Rift is $1500!” line, and I was frustrated by how many people thought that was the price of the headset itself. My answer was ill-prepared, and mentally, I was contrasting $349 with $1500, not our internal estimate that hovered close to $599 – that is why I said it was in roughly the same ballpark. Later on, I tried to get across that the Rift would cost more than many expected, in the past two weeks particularly. […] to be perfectly honest, our biggest failing was assuming we had been clear enough about setting expectations.
Other Oculus news that’s not doom and gloom:
- Rift supports Windows 7, 8 and 10.
- You’ll get about 90fps performance on “High” graphics settings with a minimum recommended spec setup.
- The headset-to-PC cable spans 4 meters (13 feet)
- Expect 100 titles or more, including 20 first-party ones.
- Prices for those games will go from free up to levels comparable to your AAA-level console and PC games right now.
- Uses for PC-driven VR will expand beyond gaming over time.
- More facial interface accessories are coming.
- Luckey hopes region locking content won’t be an issue.
- Money will be an object for Oculus to surmount as margins are said to be “nothing.”
By the way, Luckey didn’t give another ballpark price for the Oculus Touch.
“I have learned my lesson.”