What a $600 Oculus Rift Means for the Future of Virtual Reality

Back in October of 2015, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey responded to rumors that Rift would cost $350. To help mitigate any potential pricing backlash, Luckey told reporters that their VR headset would cost more than $350, but would be roughly in that ballpark.

Now that Rift is available for pre-order we know what that ballpark is. It’s $599 before taxes, shipping, and it includes and XBOX controller, but not the Touch tracking controller. We can be fairly certain that most people weren’t expecting this price point when we were told that $350 was too low but in the ballpark, and the Reddit Oculus and VR subreddits are awash with angry members decrying the headset as too expensive.

Screenshot (8)Sticker Shock

I’ve never much been a fan of how gadgets are valued online. I find the discussion pretty toxic when geeks try and grade something as being “worth it”. The second that phrase pops up, you can almost always find a radical justification for why someone isn’t going to buy a product.

I would buy this bleeding edge piece of technology if it instantly came with one hundred games, did my dishes, had month long battery life, and only cost $17 and a half a ham sandwich. Then it would be worth it for the monies.

While the above is an exaggeration, the tone of this kind of commentary often lands just shy of “a company failed me by making a product too expensive for me, so I will punish them by not buying said product”. I think it’s a defense mechanism. It’s not that the individual is cheap, or they can’t afford it, they would totally buy the thing IF it were worth it. Totally…
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Samsung Partners With Oculus for Gear VR Headset

Samsung is betting on VR becoming a popular service. Thankfully, instead of reinventing the wheel and releasing a standalone proprietary headset, they’re partnering with Oculus to bring the Gear VR to market.

Utilizing the same AMOLED screen found on the Note 4, the Gear VR brings an even higher resolution than the most current Oculus Rift Developer Kit, effectively 1280 x 1440 per eye.

samsung gear vr headset front viewThe Gear VR will also feature a MicroUSB connector allowing to hook up to a Galaxy Note 4 to display content. Wearable headsets like this can be used to either create an immersive 3D world around the viewer, or provide for a more passive “I Got a Movie Theater All To Myself” effect. The headset will come with a MicroSD card which will include a handful of movies and demos from Marvel, IMAX, Dreamworks, and more.

While there’s no hard launch date or pricing info, Samsung says the Gear VR will be available this year. Oculus got a shot in the arm after Facebook acquired it, but Samsung has the resources to push new technologies into the mainstream.

You can read Samsung’s full PR below.

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Facebook to acquire Oculus VR Inc. for $2 Billion

Oculus 3Insert “FarmVille gaming in 3D” joke here.

In a surprising announcement today, Facebook has announced their plans to acquire Oculus VR, makers of the Rift VR gaming headset, for $400 million in cash and $1.6 billion in stock.

Oculus is the indie sweetheart gaming company pushing virtual and augmented reality hardware back into the gaming industry’s focus almost single handedly. Building so much momentum and fan good will that Sony recently announced plans to move into the space with their Morpheus headset, a similar style VR wearable display.

Facebook is taking a gamble in moving VR beyond gaming and into social media, but even if that strategy fails, it’ll give them a unique opportunity to push the Facebook brand further into entertainment.

“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” said Facebook founder and CEO,┬áMark Zuckerberg. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”

The buy out should be completed by end of second quarter 2014. What do you think will happen to the Oculus brand? How do you think VR will be incorporated into business and social media applications? Drop us some comments below!

Related:
Your New Reality Is Ready

Full Facebook PR below.
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Watch this Woman use Oculus Rift 3D VR goggles for first time on “Rift Coaster”

OculusRift1This is hysterically cute.

In the past, 3D goggles never really delivered the virtual reality experience they claimed they could. Current gen 3D tech is getting surprisingly good however, and the head tracking tech built into Oculus Rift provides for an extremely smooth experience, cresting that mind warping realism we’ve been seeking for so long.

This woman isn’t prepared for what’s about to happen on this roller coaster simulator, and that’s why this video rocks.

See Elon Musk’s Iron Man style 3D modeling and printing lab.

SpaceX-LogoWhen Robert Downey Jr. retires from playing Tony Stark they should just follow Elon Musk around with cameras. A normal day for him is science fiction for the rest of us plebs.

Anywho, wouldn’t it be great if Iron Man’s garage were an actual real life thing. You move designs around by waving your hands through the air. You interact with models using advanced 3D optics, then have the ability to render and construct that design right there. Yeah. That’d be cool.

Well Musk and his engineers at SpaceX went and pretty much made it. Using tech like LEAP motion controllers and Oculus Rift goggles, designers are able to interact and manipulate models via gestures. Plus they can then build those models using 3D printers in the lab. It’s incredible stuff, and Elon “Man of the Future” Musk himself spends a couple minutes walking us through their advances.

All of these separate technologies are starting to come together, and it’s starting to look really cool.

(via TechCrunch)