The recent news of Oculus Rift costing a whopping £499 turned Twitter on its head. Many were angry, some were confused and the general consensus was that it was just too expensive. That didn't stop the pre-orders running out, with the second batch of the early VR release not available until June.
Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey ensures us that consumers are getting a lot of bang for their buck, and that the VR headset is making no profit. I think that's a weird statement to make considering he's operating a business, and now has his Facebook overlords keeping an eye on things. Regardless of this, even if they aren't making a huge profit they still feel confident enough that they can charge £499 for an unproven product.
This got me thinking… “Who can blame them?”
As consumers, we are easy pickings. With the release of every new technology , we line up in droves and spend our money because we are told we have to. Look at the history of iPhone, people line up year after year to collect them like Pokemon cards - very expensive Pokemon cards. We moan and bitch at the expense of things, but when it comes down to it, the allure of being among the first group of people to own something is just too damn strong. Like Anakin to the allure of the Dark Side, we never stood a chance to begin with.
I imagine those who buy an Oculus Rift on release will be more than happy with the product, but for the price they are paying, the happiness will probably be short lived. Especially when you consider the asking price for a PC able to run VR as well, you are likely looking to pay between £1000-£1500. Most people will likely be VR ready, but there will be those that aren’t. I suppose the point I’m making is that we should start to pull away from blindly buying things, not following marketing and PR hype because we are told to. We’d honestly be better off as consumers, and your wallets would be a little less barren.