Earlier this week, Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) Oculus VR said that it would begin taking pre-orders for its widely anticipated Rift virtual reality headset on Wednesday. At the time, the two most important unknowns were still the final pricing and availability of Rift. Well, today is Wednesday and the company has now specified these two critical factors.
Rift will cost $599 and begin shipping in March, although new pre-orders are currently being quoted a shipping time of April. There is a limit of one unit per customer. Each order includes the Rift headset, sensor, Oculus Remote, cables, an Xbox One controller, and two games.
Does it matter?
It's also worth pointing out that $599 only buys the headset itself. Users will also need a high-end gaming PC capable of utilizing Rift and the recommended specifications are ambitious.
For instance, Oculus lists and recommends a few high-performance PCs that are optimized for Rift from OEM partners like ASUS and Alienware, which start at $949 and $999, respectively.That puts the total cost at around $1,500 to $1,600 if you don't already have a high-end gaming PC, which is in line with what Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe estimated in May 2015 at Re/code's Code Conference.
Oculus' financial results remain insignificant in the grand scheme of Facebook's overall advertising business right now, but Oculus remains a strategically important bet on Mark Zuckerberg's vision of the future of computing. For now, VR will remain a niche offering to gaming enthusiasts, but eventually the mainstream consumer might adopt it.