Oculus Rift co-founder says consumer release is expected to stay under $400

Oculus Rift development kits have been kicking around for awhile now, and by all reports they've awfully cool. But where are the consumer versions? Will they be meaningfully different from the DK units? And how much are they going to cost, anyway? The Oculus team gets these questions a lot, and they have a few answers.

The Oculus Rift DK2 is pretty fantastic stuff by all reports, but Oculus VR co-founder Palmer Luckey said the consumer release will be "significantly improved," telling Eurogamer , "The jump from DK1 to DK2 is similar to the jump from DK2 to CD1 [the consumer version]." Among the improvements will be increased resolution, a higher refresh rate of at least 90Hz and a headset redesign that will make the device smaller and lighter.

Unfortunately, while thousands of development kits have been shipped, the consumer release is still a long way off. Luckey noted that while most console development cycles include two or three years of behind-the-scenes work, the Oculus Rift has been in the spotlight from the very start. "We started out showing everything we're working on and getting to as many developers as possible, and letting anyone order it," he said. "We could have just stayed in stealth mode and sent it to a few game developers and we could have announced a year from now and said, 'OK! It's ready to go.' But that would have been negative—much worse for VR overall."

But when it does come, the price shouldn't go much beyond the $350 cost of the DK2. "We want to stay in that $200-$400 price range," co-founder Nate Mitchell said. "That could slide in either direction depending on scale, pre-orders, the components we end up using, business negotiations..."

It's a bit vague, but understandably so given how far off the consumer release is, and at least it's something to go on. The interview touches on a number of other topics, including Sony's Project Morpheus and the impact of the Facebook acquisition. If you're at all interested in the Oculus Rift, it's definitely worth your time.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.