After being acquired by Facebook, many expected Oculus VR development to be boosted by the social network firm's resources and wealth. Now it seems like the new owner of Oculus plans to also use its financial clout to price the device very attractively, to help its market penetration.
During an interview with Ars Technica, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has said that company executives are pondering plans to price Oculus Rift at "the lowest cost possible" whilst he conservatively envisions that the first consumer release will sell "just north of 1 million units."
Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe
Iribe revealed that Oculus is not planning on making much profit with the headset, as Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is following in Google's footsteps with its Nexus device strategy. He sees Oculus as a tool to get VR technology into as many consumer hands as possible by selling it near cost, or even at cost.
"I'm hopeful we're not going to be losing money on [the hardware], but I think everybody agrees that if we can do it at cost that would be great for everybody," Iribe told Ars. "As Mark (Zuckerberg) says, as you start to get to race to scale there are a lot of opportunities to monetize that are really great for consumers, because they get a really low-cost product."
Oculus founder, Palmer Luckey, concurred with Iribe's views in a recent interview with Stuff, "Whatever it costs us to make, that is what we’re going to sell it for. That’s one of the things the Facebook deal has allowed us to do: because we already have these resources behind us, we don’t have to worry about making money from our customers right away," Luckey said.
Although at this point the money from Facebook won't make much difference to what is physically released as the first version of the headset, Iribe highlighted that the acquisition will definitely have more impact when it comes to designing the second commercial Oculus headset. "It is going to allow us to deliver a much better consumer V2, that's for sure," he said.