It’s a big month for virtual reality (VR) technology, as the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) has finally launched its pre-order campaign ahead of the first deliveries on 28th March 2016. The kit costs some $599 USD or, in the UK, £499 GBP, which came as a surprise to many. Among those that were disappointed by that price tag are UK high street retailers, which have recently branded the Oculus Rift as ‘too expensive’ and suggested that the PlayStation VR HMD for PlayStation 4 is ‘in the strongest position’ right now.
A group of unnamed retailers said as much to MCV. One senior buyer at a ‘leading high street chain’ noted: “It’s too expensive. We were expecting £299, maximum.
“And where are the games? The concept is exciting but no-one has shown a game that works.”
Of course, the Oculus Rift isn’t actually coming to UK retailers for some time yet, as its pre-order campaign is running solely through its own website. A limited number of units are expected to be available at select retailers in the US, but there’s no word on when it could arrive at physical outlets for the UK. At the same time, software for the Oculus Rift is largely expected to be sold digitally, so it seems that the Oculus Rift won’t have any kind of presence at stores for the time being.
Another retailer was more positive about the outlook for VR. “It is very exciting and new. PlayStation VR is in the strongest position, as it has the momentum of the PS4 and a promising line-up,” it said.
“But Oculus Rift, given a bit of time, could be the premium VR experience of choice.”
PlayStation VR is yet to receive a full price and release date, though should be arriving at some point within the first half of 2016. VRFocus will be providing the latest updates on both devices.