Oculus announced an unprecedented $200 price drop on the purchase of the Rift headset and Touch controllers. This presents a great opportunity for consumers interested in buying into Virtual Reality without taking out a second mortgage. But what does this price difference to do the perception of value and quality between the VR options. Often, a lower cost version of a technology represents a cheaper implementation. But is that the case with the Rift?
The technical specifications that matter to VR are identical for both platforms. Resolution, field of view, and now with Oculus’ 3 sensor configuration roomscale VR is also available for both. Additionally, the Oculus Rift can use most if not all titles available for the HTC Vive. However, Vive users may be locked out of some of the Rift’s high quality, exclusive content. Additionally, the Rift’s lighter weight is another advantage over the Vive.
This results in a more affordable VR platform that may be better in some ways. Which is the opposite of what the price/quality appearance is to the uninitiated.
If potential VR consumers recognize this value gap favoring the Rift, Oculus is in for a sales boost that could put a dent in HTC’s market share. Conversely, if the price difference appears to the consumer as a ‘you get what you pay for’ warning, as HTC appears to be betting on, this could backfire for Oculus.