Oculus VR wants to release its headset for free


The Oculus Rift headset could eventually be free at the point of purchase if the company finds the right business model, CEO Brendan Iribe has told us.

The Oculus team were at Develop In Brighton 2013 last week, showing off the Unreal 4 Elemental demo with a new Oculus Rift HD prototype headset.

Oculus Rift is currently only available as a $300 devkit; it’s currently unclear how Oculus might eventually end up in the hands of game players, so we asked Iribe what the company had planned for its consumer launch.

“The lower the price point, the wider the audience,” he said. “We have all kinds of fantasy ideas. We’d love it to be free one day, so how do we get it as close to free as possible? Obviously it won’t be that in the beginning. We’re targeting the $300 price point right now but there’s the potential that it could get much less expensive with a few different relationships and strategies.”

“You can imagine if Microsoft and Sony can go out and subsidise consoles because there’s enough money to be made on software and other areas, then there’s the potential that this, in partnership, could get subsidised,” continued Iribe. “Let’s say there was some game you played in VR that everybody loved and everybody played and we made $100 a month – or even $10 a month – at some point the hardware’s cheap enough and we’re making enough that we could be giving away the headset.”

“We’re not there yet, but we’re sitting there thinking all the time, how can we make this free? You want everybody to play it and the cheaper it is, the more people are going to go out and buy it. Today it’s a $300 dev kit but we’re thinking about how to get it out to as many people as possible.”

Oculus Rift was our cover feature back in May – you can read it in full here.