With the Oculus Rift contest now taking pre-orders and officially priced for the mass market, attention has turned to Sony and the PS VR headset. Many expected Sony to use CES as a venue to announce official launch details – such as price and release date, but no such announcements were made. Although Sony remains silent on such details, online retailer Amazon Canada may have accidently revealed the price for the PS VR headset per a product page listing. According to a report by BGR from January 8, the Amazon page listed a Canadian price for the PlayStation VR set, but the price was removed soon after being discovered.
These specs will make it possible for the Oculus Rift to render heavy, 360-degree graphics smoothly without making users feel motion sick (hopefully, since results will vary ). But expect to shell out at least $300—about the cost of an Xbox One or Playstation 4—for a compatible graphics card. It is possible to meet the minimum specifications by building your own computer with about $650 worth of parts, though it might not necessarily be future proof. Forbes has outlined different price points for building an Oculus-compatible PC ranging from sub-$1,000 to more than $2,000.
Counter-reaction to the Oculus sticker shock has mostly fallen along the lines of Of course the Rift is expensive. What new technology isn’t expensive upon release?” And comparisons to PCs, smartphones, and high definition televisions ensue. None of those are good comparisons for the Rift. The best way to understand the situation is by looking at Tesla.
The seeds of demand for these products however, were planted decades before HDTVs, iPhones, or powerful laptops hit the marketplace. Motorola introduced the first handheld mobile phone, those huge, white, blocky things, in the early 1970s. The ubiquity of television sets began taking shape in the 1950s, which is the same decade that IBM began laying the groundwork for personal computers, by making the computer a popular tool for science and industry.
Virtual reality demos have been consistently different from game demos in that the VR tech is rough, and developers make no attempts to hide that. That’s why seeing how VR operates in the real world, where no one is controlling the demo environment, is so important. No one can really gauge the effectiveness and value of virtual reality, until this happens.