Oculus Preorder and Fscking How Much?!?

(This is based on a Rated-R segment, episode 005)

Yo yo yo……and indeed yo.

Welcome to my little corner of the podiverse, My name is Booker and I have been shafted.

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Yes you heard me right, I have an Oculus Rift-sized imprint hard against the sphincter and I’m telling you it hurts!
Its my own fault, I let it tease me, enjoyed every moment in fact. I hungrily devoured hours of video, it had no shame, it loved the attention you could tell. It never, ever missed an opportunity to wrap itself round a new face to show off some VR love while someone videoed every moment.
I was swept off my feet and even though I knew others lusted for it as much as I, there was no doubt in my mind that The Rift loved me best, it was made for me, a match made in VR heaven. A childhood fantasy come true. I saved myself for it too, spurning the inferior dev kits, not wanting to sully my VR cherry until it was with the real thing, I mean what was the point, they will all cost about the same right? Patience is a virtue, the climax worth the maintenance of purity, anticipation building as pre-order day approached like a virgin bride the night before her wedding…. then……
…..Fucking How Much!!??!! Oh Oculus you whore! You didn’t love me best after all! I was just one anonymous face amongst a multitude, inflamed with lust bloated further by false promises. I am left feeling soiled and….well…..excluded.

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The Price Is Where?

Ok, enough of dodgy metaphors and half arsed innuendo, as you might have guessed, I’m a tad miffed at the Oculus price reveal. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to suddenly go all anti Rift on you, the thing is a miracle of modern technology, I love it I really do and that’s the problem. Something that I had thought within my grasp was wrenched from my twitching fingers like the ultimate last second end zone interception. Game over.
How on earth could Palmer Luckey and his band of merry makers not know that when you consistently state that you are aiming for a consumer price of between 200 and 400 Dollars and never attempt to correct that perception before your public reveal then a lot of people are going to get properly narked!

I’m from the UK and I work in the health service. What this should tell you is that I don’t do what I do for the big bucks! Nevertheless, even at the top end of that 200 to 400 Dollar price range I could save for a few of months and go for it. I could just about justify the expenditure to my totally gaming ignorant fiancée because I could show her some amazing things on it and she may probably understand why I was so drawn to it to the extent that she would almost certainly start speaking to me again within a matter of weeks! But no matter how long I saved up for it, there is no way I could justify blowing the best part of 600 quid on a Rift.

“Yes darling, I know we need a new bathroom and all but this thing has a strap and makes you nauseous and everything!”

Oculus_Rift-pre-order-660x330I’m pretty sure I know how that conversation ends and I’ve been arse raped by Oculus rift once already this week!
So where do I go from here? My gut tells me that there is a Rift in my future but not as an early adopter, more likely 2nd gen when it’s twice as powerful for half the money, I mean just look at HDTV, it quite literally stands at roughly one fifth of its price from 2 years ago. This is a trend with all technologies and it’s the enthusiasts who pay the cutting edge premium because they are….well….enthusiastic. Those who are patient (or let’s face just blissfully ignorant) and buy into new tech 1 or 2 years in get amazing products for a fraction of its original price and that’s when it goes mainstream.

But I am not a patient man, I love my gadgets and I love my gaming so there is no way I am missing this train. As far as realistic releases this year I am down to the HTC Vive Pre and Sony’s PSVR

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Perhaps Cheaper?

The Vive is starting to look cooler by the minute (although you won’t look cool wearing it). Details were revealed this week of the latest iteration – the Pre – that incorporates a front facing camera and some clever software that allows you to gain your bearings in a room at the press of a button then hide it just as easily. This is a massive trump card over the Rift and it will be very interesting to see how developers utilize this tech in VR. Tech demos featuring the climbing of Everest and a 3d painting app using bespoke controllers have also met with universal acclaim.

But, and it is a big but, I can’t see this coming in at a low price unless Steam grow a pair of enormous gonads and go for the undercut. I mean, the opportunity is there right, they are coming 2nd to the party and the opposition has laid their cards on the table first. Is it possible that they could subsidize the living shit out of the price of a Vive for the establishment of a large user base? It has to be tempting surely, how many rift pre-orders get cancelled if you crash the party with a 400 dollars or less Vive headset with bespoke controllers available at launch and not several months late!

I dare not hope so i leave the speculation there. I suspect, in the real world the Vive has enough tech in it to be at least as expensive as the rift and the required gonad growth sadly lacking to put it in my price range. That leaves me with good ol’ Sony.

PSVR being constantly undermined by commentary that assumes that as it is a console device it will be clearly inferior (I’m looking at you, PC Master Race), the PSVR rarely elicits disappointment from those lucky enough to experience it. There really is a remarkable opportunity for Sony here that I sincerely hope they grasp with everything they have with a grip. With a 30 million plus user base this really could be the VR system for the masses and I just can’t imagine Sony selling a peripheral at a significantly more expensive price than that at which their flagship console sells. Don’t forget, Sony is well versed in selling loss leading hardware in order to profit from software.

There is one more ace in the hole for Sony, they are starting to understand that my fiancee will never get gaming and she will most likely never be interested, but in the right situations she will play Singstar and Rockband and she rocks a mighty bow and arrow in Sports Champions because she can do these things socially and they are just plain fun to play with groups of people. Sony are tapping into this social gaming with PSVR and have already shown several PSVR titles designed to be group experiences and that is fantastic news for those that want VR on a budget because the experience becomes shared in front rooms with partners and families rather than hidden away in a high tech man cave.

If, and it is a big if, Sony have the ‘nads to go for it and puts their headset out in the price range Oculus initially hinted at, then there will be potentially tens of millions of happy bunnies out there who will never take a second look at another headset and I might just be one of them…….well for a while at least!

It’s been real……see ya!