Skip to main content

The Oculus Rift is $600: Here’s what you need before pre-ordering

everything you need to know about the oculus rift pre order ces2016rift
Image used with permission by copyright holder

After years of restless nights spent questioning when the Oculus Rift would arrive, we’re finally one step closer. Pre-orders for the wildly anticipated VR headset opened up on Wednesday, January 6 at 8 a.m. Pacific. We also caught word that every Oculus Rift unit will ship with a complimentary download of one of its flagship launch titles, dogfighting shooter Eve: Valkryie.

How much will it cost?

The price is $600. Or $599, to be more precise.

That’s a higher price than earlier talk by Oculus had indicated. Statements from 2014 and 2015 seemed to suggest the headset would be around $400, but recently, the company officials had stopped talking about price. Now we know why. The initial estimates were far too low.

In February, the company will begin to offer Oculus Ready PC bundles starting at $1,500. This will include a compatible computer with enough horsepower to handle the Rift.

Palmer Luckey took to Twitter late Tuesday night to let everyone know that Oculus won’t be charging people to pre-order the Rift. Instead, those who pre-order will be charged when the product actually ships. He extrapolated on that statement in another tweet, clarifying that Oculus doesn’t want to lock in users before reviews come out.

What can it do?

As we reported in our spec showdown against Samsung Gear VR earlier this year, Oculus Rift boasts two OLED displays featuring a combined 2,160 x 1,200 pixel resolution with a 90Hz refresh rate. Sensor-wise, it packs in a whole lot, including a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a magnetometer, and a constellation array, which helps with head-tracking.

By default, the distance between eyes on the Oculus Rift is set to 64 mm, though it can be adjusted depending on personal requirements. It supports both Xbox controllers and the Oculus Touch controller, which was recently delayed until the second half of 2016. While official dimensions have yet to arise, the most recent dev kit sports a 1.3 x 14.7 x 7 inch build, which should be indicative of the final design.

What will I need to use it?

According to Oculus, for “the full Rift experience,” you’ll need a fairly hardy rig, as the headset requires an Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD 290 and an Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater, at least 8GB of RAM, HDMI 1.3 output, three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, and Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or greater.

This means you could build your own or get a PC pre-built with the full intent of using it for virtual reality. Oculus has a compatibility tool on its website that will help you determine if your PC is compatible.

What else does it come with?

In addition to the more mature and competitive Eve: Valkyrie, every pre-ordered Oculus Rift unit will ship with the vibrantly colorful Lucky’s Tale from Playful Corp, a studio comprised of former Words With Friends developers.

Oculus says the Rift will also come with a built-in microphone and headphones, a sensor array, an Xbox One controller, and a Oculus Remote, which the company says is a “simple an intuitive [device] to navigate VR experiences.”

When is it coming? 

It’s not apparent at the moment when exactly we’ll get our hands on the Rift, but Oculus promises it will be some time in the first quarter of the year, which just so happens to end on March 31. This gives Oculus a head start on the competition, considering the increasingly promising HTC Vive was delayed last month until April.

As of January 7th, shipping dates for new pre-orders have shipped to June.

Given the onerous system requirements and warning signs from graphics card makers, there’s no doubt virtual reality is going to be a tough sell. With as much as a few more months to go, however, it won’t be long until we see for sure just how well the new tech is received by the public.

Updated on 1/6/2016 8:04 AM: The Rift pre-order is live, we’ve updated the site with everything you need to know. 

Updated on 1/5/2016 5:20 PM: Added information that pre-orders will not be charged until shipped

Gabe Carey
Former Digital Trends Contributor
A freelancer for Digital Trends, Gabe Carey has been covering the intersection of video games and technology since he was 16…
No, an old iPhone won’t beat the Snapdragon X Elite
A photo of a laptop with the Snapdragon X Plus CPU.

Update 6/14/24: A slate of new Geekbench 6 results show that the Snapdragon X Elite performs about as well as Qualcomm claimed, at least in the Galaxy Book4 Edge. The new results, which were uploaded last night and this morning, show the processor reaching the advertised 4GHz and hitting single-core speeds that aligned with Qualcomm's claims. Multi-core speeds are still a bit below where expected, but not by much.

Although these new results show that there's a little more to the story than the peak performance of Qualcomm's new chips, it's important to wait for proper reviews to vet the performance of these processors. At the moment, it appears the software isn't final, so it's hard to draw any firm conclusions about performance before the processors release on June 18.

Read more
Samsung’s MacBook alternative is up to $700 off today
The Samsung Galaxy Book 4 Pro against a textured grey backdrop.

If you like the idea of the MacBook Air but don't own any other Apple products or don't want to be in the Apple ecosystem, then we're happy to inform you that there are some great alternatives. One example is the Galaxy Book4, which is equally thin and light and can still pack a punch when it comes to processing power. Even better, you can get it for much cheaper than the usual $900 since you get a direct $200 discount that brings it down to $700, plus you can get up to $508 of trade-in credit. So, you could potentially get it for as low as $192, assuming you get the best trade-in value.

Why you should buy the Galaxy Book4
At just 0.61-inch of thickness, the Galaxy Book4 comes pretty close to the thin size of the MacBook Air, so it's a very portable device, which is impressive since it comes with a larger 15.6-inch screen. Granted, the screen runs at an FHD resolution, which is a bit lower than the MacBook Air, but at that screen size, the difference isn't that big. Luckily, the keyboard is great to type on, and you can expect up to 15 hours of battery life, which is pretty good too.

Read more
Samsung is having a sale on huge gaming monitors — up to $1,000 off
Samsung Odyssey Ark in cockpit mode.

If you're the type of person who likes to have the best gear for their gaming setup, then one of the best upgrades you can do is getting yourself a massive ultra-wide monitor that adds another layer of immersion. Some of these monitors are truly behemoths, and they have a price tag to match, but luckily Samsung is running a great sale on large gaming monitors right now with some significant savings. Samsung makes some of the best monitors on the market, so you're in good hands if you decide to grab one. However, if you'd still like something different, check out these other great monitor deals.
49-inch Odyssey OLED G9 -- $1,200, was $1,800

If you're looking for an ultra-widescreen, then the Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 is the perfect option because it's chock full of great features. Besides the absolutely gorgeous OLED display, it runs a 2k resolution that can hit a whopping 240Hz refresh rate; you'll likely need one of the best GPUs to run it. It also has a low response time of 0.03ms GTG, as well as support for HDR10+ and coverage of 99% of the DCI color gamut. You can even split it into dual QHD monitors if you need to get work done and require two screens, so it's a very versatile monitor.

Read more