The reaction by the majority of the gaming community to the Oculus Rift’s pricing at $600 is very similar to the ill informed comparisons between PC and console costs. While the last two console generations have added limited media and web functionality, the two experiences are not in the same galaxy. To narrow the view to just games is to grossly undermine the value of the hardware and non-gaming software available. This is true for VR as well.
Though there will be no shortage of video games for the VR platform, that experience is but one bullet point on a long list of potential applications for the Oculus Rift. Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and future VR hardware will provide virtual work spaces for architects to design and explore their creations
before putting shovel to dirt, open a portal to the past for students to attend historical events, create opportunities for travel for those that have physical limitations preventing them from doing so like bedridden patients or homesick astronauts, and much more. Oculus Rift plus a compatible PC will run about $1600 for someone not willing to build their own computer. That’s a steal for a device with such a wealth of capability in its early stages.
With time, the cost to purchase VR hardware will drop alongside production costs. One could also wait for the Playstation VR which, considering its targeted gaming experience and limited specs, will come at a much more gaming-consumer friendly entry fee.
Save your condemnation of the $600 (plus whatever PC investment needed) for Oculus Rift and, whenever the HTC Vive’s price is revealed to be upwards of $800-$1200, save your denunciation then too. These devices are shaking up the future of tech, taking us into a virtual age we’ve only witnessed in science fiction. Though these companies are definitely luring us in with the next level of gaming, we can’t ignore the big picture.