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$599 for the Oculus Rift : Low Volume

The 2016 Oculus Rift Gen 1 
With billions of dollars and possibly hundreds of thousands of hours dumped into its development, the Oculus Rift launch price of $599 is going to limit its sales volumes. 

$599 is $200 too high 

Desktop PC gaming is a small niche that has a very wealthy (disposable income) low volume buying community of early adopters and edge pushers who like the ride the edge of what is possible with grid connected desktop power PC. I say this because with more than 1500w available at the outlets in most homes, the amount of power to run graphics cards and powerful desktop setups is substantial for a single end user gamer. Some gaming PC's are powerful workstations with multiple GPU's and multiple displays. These are the people who will buy the first gen Oculus Rift, the early adopters who fund the evolution of technology, the market force kick starter of iterative high technology innovation and commercialization, those masses of people who embrace the changes as they come forward into consumer consumption limelight.

At $599 you could buy a Xbox One or PS4 and a small collection of games. The Oculus Rift also requires that it be plugged into an almost new $1200+ desktop built or gaming PC, making the cost to rock the first gen Oculus Rift $1800 + the cost of games. This is a consumer price index bar so high that it will limit sales volumes. I took macro and micro economics in college and learned that the price of a commodity directly affects the volumes in which it will sell. The sweet spot for mass adoption of something like the Oculus rift is $299 USD 2016; anything more than that diminishes the number of buyers, but perhaps that is exactly what they would trying to do, perhaps its hard to produce millions of these new units for launch, so their pricing strategy might have something to do with managing inventory supply levels, manufacturing capacity, and so forth. The supply chain issues from China or elsewhere where manufacturing of CE dominates like Taiwan or Japan, might be behind the pricing strategy.

I honestly do not know much about the first gen Oculus Rift, other than that it will be ground breaking, cool and something far more polished than Google Cardboard. Sadly I am not in the financial shape to embrace the first gen Rift, and will have to wait for prices to fall and for it work directly with my Xbox One. Perhaps 2017 will be the big year for VR for everyone. $1800 for the system minus games is just too steep, even if I had the money it would be too much for gaming for me, I am clearly not that hard core. My wife Meg and I are currently playing Destiny on the Xbox one, and we have both tried Google Cardboard using my old cell phone, a Galaxy Note 3 that a friend game to me, and a Star Wars eddition Cardboard that my sister gave me for Christmas 2015, the first Christmas I did not get to share with my super cool late father Kenneth Schwarz, let his soul rest in peace,  the peace of Christ Jesus who he accepted as his Lord and Savior.

He would agree with me that $599 is too much, even for happiness, especially for a toy. Let us be honest, most people play with games the way they play with toys, in their off time, when they are not working, for fun, happiness and enjoyment. I am sure there are many upper middle income and upper income families with spoiled children who think $599 sounds fair, and many highly paid geeks in and around where I live that will go in on the Tesla Model S, the first gen Oculus Rift, and the first gen Microsoft Hololens! The Hololens will be way more expensive  than the Rift FYI, but it will be totally self powered, like a head mounted low power optimized gaming computer HUD ^^ and to this end I am super excited for the Hololens, pushing the boundaries of consumer AR forward in meaningful way. Walt Mossberg was right, its as though Microsoft has awoken from a COMA with the launch of Azure, Windows 10 and the updates to the Xbox One, the Surface, and the Hololens

Look at the Recommended Computer Specs for the Oculus Rift 

Video Card NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater
CPU Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
Memory 8GB+ RAM
Video Output Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
USB Ports 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port
OS Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer

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