The virtual reality (VR) community is more than ready for the launch of the consumer versions of the technology over the course of the next 9 months. But, while enthusiasts will no doubt be buying head-mounted displays (HMDs) as soon as possible, the mainstream audience is harder to read. Issues such as pricing make widespread adoption of VR something of a mystery at this point in time, which is why Oculus Rift creator Oculus VR looks to ‘learn a lot’ from the first generation of the hardware.
VP of Product Nate Mitchell said as much in a recent interview with Gamasutra. “It’s exciting. We’ll see,” he said. “We’re going to learn a lot in this first generation of VR.” That said, Mitchell noted that the company still has high expectations for the first iteration of the Oculus Rift, which is due to launch in the first half of 2016. “We have lofty goals. We’d love to change the world as fast as possible.”
Mitchell also looked for the first generations of now iconic electronics such as Apple’s iPod and Amazon’s Kindle. “At the end of the day, I think that if you look at many of the most successful consumer hardware products of all time, most of them sold in the very low millions of units in their first year — especially new product categories, things like Kindle and iPod. They sold in the hundreds of thousands in their first generation,” he said.
There are a number of factors to consider when gaging the Oculus Rift’s mainstream potential. Arguably the most important of these is price. While the company hasn’t given a specific cost for the device itself, it has noted that an Oculus Rift and one of its cheaper’ Oculus Ready’ PCs – made in partnership with a range of manufacturers – will cost around $1,500 USD.
VRFocus will continue to follow the Oculus Rift closely, reporting back with any further updates on it.