Oculus VR at E3 2014: We’re going to sell Rift at cost price
Theres a lot of unannounced things we cant talk about, but its going to be a lot smaller, a lot lighter, cheaper, wider field of view, higher resolution and higher framerate. DK2 wasnt designed to be the thinnest or lightest thing we could make, or the cheapest for that matter: it was meant to be something we could get out quickly, that did all the functions we needed it to, very reliably. We reused a lot of the same parts for DK2 that we used for DK1, because that allowed us to move a lot faster.
This sounds expensive – we must be looking at a rather low margin on this thing. “We’re going to be selling it at cost,” Luckey tells us. “Whatever it costs us to make, that is what we’re going to sell it for. That’s one of the things the Facebook deal has allowed us to do: because we already have these resources behind us, we don’t have to worry about making money from our customers right away. If we were running purely on our own and trying to make money just from hardware, we would need to make enough profit from each unit to pay for running the company for several years, until we launched the next one.”
Palmer Luckey thinks the next six months are going to be very exciting. I’m inclined to agree. Getting the Rift out at cost price (or near) could well be the tipping point that finally brings VR kicking and screaming into the mainstream.