There’s been good news on the VR front of late, but precious little of it is coming from Oculus. Earlier this week, Sony announced it was closing on one million VR headsets sold since the launch late last year. Sony has moved 915,000 VR units to date, even though we haven’t seen many new VR games launch for the platform (though Resident Evil 7 is a notable exception).
Oculus has been busy these last few months bringing its touch controllers to market, working on a new standalone headset that doesn’t require tethering, and working with developers on new Oculus VR-compatible games. Despite the company’s early position as an industry leader, the last year saw much of Oculus’ pole position drain away, sapped by launch woes, the lack of touch controllers (which the HTC Vive had), no initial full-room tracking (which again, Vive supported) and consumer blowback over Oculus’ use of DRM. Palmer Luckey himself came under heavy fire for earlier promises to foster an open VR ecosystem followed by attempts to lock content to the Oculus Store.
Oculus’ new VR discounts work as follows: The Rift + Touch controllers are now $598 (down from $798). If you already own a Rift but need Touch, you’ll only pay $100 for the hardware, down from the $200 launch price. If you’re just buying a Rift, it now costs $500, down from $600. If you only need an additional Rift sensor, that’s just $59.
Offering separate price cuts on individual components encourages users to stack them together for maximum savings, but it also makes the entry price of PC VR just a little lower than it used to be. Combine this with some of the $500 PC VR kits we’ve seen, and the price of a Rift + system is now just over $1000.
As for how the market is doing, it’s easy to see why Facebook is slashing the Rift’s price by 25%. Last October, we observed the Vive had a decisive market share advantage over the Rift, as shown below via the Steam Hardware Survey.