Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Oculus Rift is here... and I'm not gonna buy it

On June of last year, I wrote a blog post about how too much development on useless features of virtual reality headsets can ostensibly be detrimental because it will increase their price for no tangible benefit. I concluded the post with:
I appreciate that they are taking their time and want to make it right the first time, rather than publishing half-finished products and using the consumers as beta testers. However, I do not appreciate them spending time, effort and money on useless features that will only make the device more expensive for no benefit.
Well, the long-awaited Oculus Rift is finally here! Or at least you can finally preorder it!

For 599 USD.

And with tons of useless crap bundled with it. Such an Xbox One controller, a custom pair of controllers (that will work only with games that directly support them), tons of IR sensors that allow you to walk around the room, a remote control... and who knows what other useless crap that you will play with for a half hour before you get bored.

Now, don't get me wrong, I can appreciate the fact that having not one, but two OLED displays, each with a resolution if 1080x1200 (thus making up a total resolution of 2160x1200), at a refresh rate of 90 Hz, is not exactly cheap, and them getting it to 599 USD even with all the other included useless crap is commendable in itself. But still... 599 USD.

I have been really excited for the Oculus Rift for the past two or three years. But that just kills it for me. I'm not going to spend 600 dollars on a device that I might actually not end up using all that much after all. It's just too much. I'd rather spend that kind of money for example on a g-sync capable high quality monitor. (And in fact I think those are even cheaper than that.)

Add to that the fact that my PC doesn't exactly meet the minimum specs (given that these specs include an Nvidia GTX 970; I have a GTX 770), which means that proper usage of the device may end up costing significantly more in practice.

And I already have plenty of controllers. I don't need a new one.

It doesn't exactly help that they are already planning on a successor... even before the actual device is on the market proper. It almost feels like they are obsoleting the device even before they are starting to ship it.

My enthusiasm and anticipation have been pretty much killed. I'll wait and see if they'll release a more bare-bones "value pack" version for significantly cheaper. (I still want the 2160x1200 resolution, at least at 60 Hz, and obviously the accurate head tracking, but all the other ancillary crap can go. I don't need it.)

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