For over a year now, there has been a lot of talk about the Oculus Rift. This is a virtual-reality headset that people have been able to use to play certain games. However, so far this virtual-reality headset has only been used for demonstration purposes. Now that Oculus VR has raised $83.8 million to get up off the ground, the industry could be on the edge of seeing the Oculus Rift released for consumers to buy.
According to Oculus VR, it plans to use this new revenue to produce a commercial version of the Oculus Rift. This technology is currently for gaming, and it hopes to someday take it beyond gaming. During a recent statement, the company said that it believes that the Oculus Rift will alter not only the gaming industry but also the film, design and education industries. It could be a new way for people to interact with people.
This is all well and good, but despite the money, Oculus VR faces a huge challenge in making the Oculus Rift commercial friendly. The system is already well-known, but the kind off technology that goes into making the Oculus Rift work, may be too pricy to make it commercially viable at this point.
There is another question that needs to be answered as well. Let’s say, for the purpose of this second point, that the Oculus Rift was affordable. How many people are going to adopt 3D virtual reality gaming? Many gamers are pretty set in their ways. Many gamers would like to try the virtual reality, but in the end, how many would like to use it on a daily basis or whenever they are playing games?
The Oculus Rift was first shown off after the company raised just over $2.4 million on Kickstarter last year. After developing the technology, gamers were very interested in the device. Many developers were very interested as well. Some even paid over $300 just to get a development kit for the Oculus Rift.
There are a ton of development kits out there right now. So far, the company has released at least 40,000 of these kits. That being said, a lot of the developers who have these kits have found a few issues. This includes the growing concern over latency. The product also has a very bulky design, which makes for a very odd and cumbersome gaming experience. Sure it is fun to try out, but who is going to play games for hours wearing this device.
Thankfully, Oculus VR has been using this information to help build a new prototype. It is hoping that this new prototype will be able to hit the retail market very soon. Thus, the development kits that went out early were mainly a way for the company to get feedback as to what was wrong with the device. This was a very expensive but extremely effective way to find bugs and problems.
It will be interesting to see if the Oculus Rift does well. After all, this is not the first push that the gaming industry has made to go towards virtual reality. In 1995, Nintendo released the Virtual Boy, which was a flop not only commercially but as an attempt to move toward virtual reality. Sony then tried its hand at virtual reality in 2011 with the HMZ-T1. These 3D goggles were criticized for being gimmicky and clunky.
So how much would it cost to buy an Oculus Rift? The company has yet to say. That being said, the development kits were going for around $300. The company has since made changes, so it would be safe to assume that the Oculus Rift will cost around $300 to $400. If that is the case, while still pricy, people may be able to make the jump to virtual reality.