Oculus Rift to ship in May for $600

Oculus VR is now taking pre-orders for the Oculus Rift headset, but at $600 it’s about twice as expensive as many expected. The purchase page says the headset will start shipping in May to 20 different countries.

By comparison, the developer kit cost about $350.

The company says that the headset will also be available “in limited locations at select retailers” starting in April.

(Image courtesy Oculus Rift.)
(Image courtesy Oculus Rift.)

However, the price includes an Xbox One controller, a small remote, an external sensors and two games — the much-anticipated space shooter EVE: Valkyrie and Lucky’s Tale.

The remote allows users to browse the Oculus store, explore 360-degree videos and navigate virtual reality experiences.

The Oculus Rift purchase screen.
The Oculus Rift purchase screen.

The company also released its recommended specifications for a computer ready to run Oculus Rift experiences. They include:

  • Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater
  • CPU: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • Memory: 8GB+ RAM
  • Video Output: Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • USB Ports: 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer

Oculus offers a selection of Oculus-ready PCs on its site, which are in the neighborhood of $1,000 each. So total price for your virtual reality setup if you need to buy a new computer will be around $1,600.

To find out whether your current computer can handle the Oculus Rift, you can download and run the Rift compatibility tool. My computer, sad to say, can not handle the Rift.

Kickstarter backers get free set

All those who backed the Oculus Rift on Kickstarter in 2012 and received a developer’s kit will received a free Kickstarter edition of the Oculus Rift, the company said yesterday.

“To claim your free Rift, fill out the survey you’ll receive from Kickstarter before February 1, 2016,” said yesterday’s announcement.

Backers will also get the two free games.

EVE Valkyrie
EVE: Valkyrie. (Image courtesy Oculus VR.)

Oculus VR set off the current virtual reality boom in 2012, with its successful Kickstarter campaign, raising nearly $2.5 million. In 2014, Facebook bought the company for $2 billion.

 

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is a science fiction writer who covers cybersecurity, AI and extended reality as a tech journalist at her day job.
Check out her author page on Amazon or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Her first virtual world novella, Krim Times, made the Amazon best-seller list in its category. Her second novella, The Lost King of Krim, is out now.