Earlier this week, the Oculus Rift was given a $599 price tag ahead of its launch in March 2016. After the announcement, Oculus VR Founder Palmer Luckey tweeted, “To reiterate, we are not making money on Rift hardware. High end VR is expensive, but Rift is obscenely cheap for what it is.”
In an interview with International Business Times, Luckey addressed the fact that the PlayStation VR looks to be the Oculus Rift’s biggest competition in the VR market. According to him, that notion “might be true,” but Sony and Oculus are targeting different markets:
I think that there’s not many people who already own a PS4 who don’t own a gaming PC who are going to go out and make that roughly $1,500 all-in investment in the Rift. It really is a separate market. They’re bringing virtual reality to a different group of people who I don’t think were ever really a part of our market anyway.
It’s also worth noting that their headset isn’t quite as high-end as ours — it’s still, I think, a good headset — and the PlayStation 4 is not nearly as powerful as our recommended spec for a PC.
He later talked about how the virtual reality battle isn’t Sony against Oculus, but rather “us versus the public and trying to convince them that VR is worth adopting. That it’s worth wearing something on your head to use virtual reality. That’s the real fight, and I think we’re all fighting that together.”
Before the Oculus Kickstarter campaign in 2012, Luckey says he knew some people at Sony working on virtual reality. At that time, he brought Sony in to show them what they were working on, and to talk about what the minimum standards were for a good VR experience.
“That’s really the most important thing, is to not poison this well for all of us in the future, and I think they understand that,” he said. “They also understand the importance of content, and they’ve been doing a lot of work making sure there’s a lot of VR games.”
PlayStation VR is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2016, with SuperData estimating that it will cost $400 – $600.