Retailers call for sub-£200 price tag for Oculus Rift headset

Creators of long-anticipated virtual reality headset have previously suggested giving the technology away for free
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The consumer version of the Oculus Rift should aim for a price around £200 (€239) if it hopes to interest retailers, firms have told PCR.

The retail-ready iteration of the virtual reality headset has long been slated for a release in late 2014, and Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe has previously voiced his hopes that the final product would cost no more then $300 (£180) – an opinion echoed by retailers.

“The closest product to gauge the pricing [of the Rift] against is what the average gamer spends on a monitor,” Hedley Corcoran, sales director at Midland Computers, told PCR.

“I’d say the consumer version of the Rift should be between £150 and £250 – but it would really need to be sub-£200 to make any market share.”

The Rift’s original developer kit, recently halted due to a component supply chain shortage, sold for $300 through the Oculus VR website. A second developer kit has since gone up for pre-order priced at $350 (£210).

Despite the traditional sales route so far, Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey has expressed interest in dropping the price of the hardware to as low as possible, generating profit through a subsidised subscription or licensing fees.

Matthew James of Eastgate Computers said that the wearable tech’s future success was dependent on affordability.

“If it’s any more than £150, I don’t think it will do very well,” he stated, opposing the idea that £200 was sufficiently cheap enough to interest consumers.

“It would need huge support from all the games publishers, rather than just a few launch titles, and then there would be nothing else for it to really take off.”

However, like any new technology, some retailers were willing to pay more for a premium product.

“£300 would be the right price point for me,” stated Andrew Dennett of Axdra.

“Not too dear, but enough that everyone will want it.”