If you didn’t know, the Oculus Rift is a recent “next big thing”. Virtual Reality glasses with amazing resolution, high-def sound, and (optional) tracked controllers. Watch movies! Play games! Get car sick!
Well, it has had several “I had high hopes, but now I know it’s going to fail” moments after being announced on Kickstarter. The company being bought by Facebook, a teardown revealing that it’s effectively a smartphone on a headset, and, most recently, it being announced that it’ll be sold for ~$600.
The Facebook drama was, perhaps, the funniest. The gamers out there suddenly were absolutely certain that this was no longer going to be a gaming rig but a rig devoted to some weird Facebook concept and that meant that it was a product intended to appeal to the mom and dad and gramma crowd rather than the HARDCORE GAMERS who *NEEEEED* bells and whistles that mom and dad and gramma just will never appreciate.
The teardown was interesting because it makes something like Google Cardboard surprisingly tempting. If the rift is a phone on a special harness, why spend hundreds when you could buy a cardboard box phone holder for around $20?
Now, that last one was somewhat confusing to me. If you asked me “how much do you think the Oculus Rift will cost?”, I’d have probably answered “Somewhere around $500?” and so the $600 price tag didn’t shock me. Well, the creators of the Rift had been promising that it’d be around $350 for a good long while and so the price coming out to be almost twice that resulted in much weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Apparently, its pre-orders have more than sold out to the point where it’s going to be back-ordered for four months after its first shipments in March.
And the main thing that I’m wondering is whether it’s going to be THE NEXT BIG THING for real like HD Television sets were or if it’s merely going to be THE NEXT BIG THING the way that 3D Television sets were.
I’m certainly not going to spend $600 to find out.
I might drop $20, though…
So… what are you playing?
(Picture is “Untitled” by our very own Will Truman. Used with permission)