Oculus Rift consumer version release date
Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe shows off the consumer version of the Oculus Rift for the first time which will go on sale in the first quarter of 2016Oculus

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey has admitted the consumer version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset will cost more than $350 (£230). The Rift is the headset that sparked the impending virtual reality revolution and is one of the big three heading to shops over the next year.

"You know, I'm going to be perfectly honest with you. We're roughly in that ballpark... but it's going to cost more than that," said Luckey to Road To VR during the Oculus Connect developer conference in late September. "And the reason for that is that we've added a lot of technology to this thing beyond what existed in the DK1 and DK2 days.

"It's not a matter of, 'Oh we're selling more, we can make more money!' It's just the reality that when you make this thing you have to decide what trade-offs you're going to make; are you going to optimise for absolute lowest price possible, even if it's gonna be a lower quality experience?"

He goes on to explain how important it is to get the virtual reality tech right with one of the first headsets to go on the market – alongside direct competitors HTC Vive and Sony's PlayStation VR, the latter which is exclusive to PS4. The Rift specifically is targeting a Q1 2016 release.

Luckey said: "You try to say, 'You know what, this is the first consumer VR headset that were going to be pushing out to people. We need to put a stake in the ground and say: this is the best possible experience that we were able to make. No compromises were made in terms of quality.' Get the cost down as much as you can on that experience, but make it so that the Rift is something that everybody wants to use to the best of your ability."

Another factor in the cost is how unique a piece of kit virtual reality headsets are. The components to make them are quite expensive, with all the headsets including custom hardware. Oculus said back in May that the cost of buying and being able to use an Oculus Rift, including a computer capable of running the games and software, will be around $1,500.

It seems that the Rift's competitors will be in a similar range, with Sony's PlayStation boss Andrew House saying the PSVR would be priced "as a new gaming platform".

You can read an IBTimes UK piece comparing the three headsets and another focusing on the dilemma of how to demo virtual reality publicly.

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