Your eyes are fine, that is in fact what the title says and yes I mean it. Don’t get me wrong, my heart sank when I heard the news about The Rift's price the other week. However, after some time reflecting on the product we’re getting and what it is both used for and stands for, I started to think differently.
I don’t really have a main PC monitor, I have a 22” LED TV (Right Image) that I got for my birthday in 2009 as a television for my room. But I now use it as a monitor for my computer.
Yeah it’s getting time to find an actual monitor to use. And as an upgrade I want a 1440p monitor that at least supports 144hz and has G-Sync. Because if I’m going to upgrade something I like to make sure I won’t need to upgrade it again for a while.The best option I’ve found is just under $700.
Now, I’m sure a lot of people would also scoff at a monitor that costs that much but for what it offers this Monitor would be a good fit for me after saving for a couple months. And years down the line when I get an even better GPU than my 970 I’ll be able to make use of its supported high resolutions and frame rates, which in my opinion is worth saving up for.
So let’s look at what we’re getting with the Rift for $600. In addition to 2 high quality displays splitting a 2160 x 1200 display at 90hz, you also become an early adopter of a completely new way to consume media. The Rift also comes with an Xbox controller, a wireless adapter, and a headset built into the Rift itself.
Since I’ve been eyeing a $700 Monitor for a while now, I’ll be the first to admit it was silly of me to be slightly outraged about the Rift costing $600. Looking at the specs of the niche device and the value of both its pure power in its displays as well as the value of the extras that come with the headset, it is hard to believe it only costs $600.
I think the outrage mainly comes from, and rightfully so, the fact that the Oculus devs had stated back in September that the headset would cost "Within the ballpark" of $350. It was a grave mistake on their part to give the public any idea how much it would be before the actual announcement. Not just because they clearly had no idea what it would be at the time, but to subvert people's expectations. People get over excited for new tech, myself included. To come out and tell us that the niche product that requires a fairly high end PC to even use would cost less than a new Playstation brought our skeptical expectations to an unrealistic standard.
I do also feel that the public where maybe too optimistic to expect mass adoption of such an alien technology. We aren’t going to see the adoption rates of smart phones again anytime soon. And again, with the high requirements to use the device this is going to be for hobbyists for a long time. Just as HDTVs where, and just as 4K displays are now, the Oculus will start as a niche replacement for a monitor. And that is okay, and so is the price for this incredibly powerful and ambitious piece of tech, that I look forward to saving up for.