Face­book’s Ocu­lus drops price of vir­tual re­al­ity set

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

Ocu­lus, the vir­tual re­al­ity com­pany owned by Face­book Inc, is tem­po­rar­ily cut­ting the price of its hard­ware, as the in­dus­try tries to fig­ure out why the tech­nol­ogy for im­mer­sive games and sto­ries has not taken off among con­sumers.

Ocu­lus is cut­ting the com­bined price of its Rift head­set and Touch con­trollers to $399 for six weeks be­gin­ning today, said Ja­son Ru­bin, Ocu­lus vice pres­i­dent for con­tent. That matches the price of an­other vir­tual re­al­ity set, PlayS­ta­tion VR, made by Sony Corp.

Vive, a vir­tual re­al­ity set de­vel­oped by HTC Corp, is listed for sale at $799 on its web­site, and it has not re­cently cut the price. Face­book paid $3 bil­lion to ac­quire Ocu­lus and re­tain its em­ploy­ees in 2014. Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Mark Zucker­berg said at the time that the medium, which of­fers a 360-de­gree panoramic view through head­sets, would “be­come a part of daily life for bil­lions of peo­ple.”

That has not hap­pened, al­though it is un­clear if that is be­cause of high prices, some­thing in­her­ent in the tech­nol­ogy or some other rea­son.

Pric­ing dis­counts are some­times a sign of weak prod­uct sales. Ru­bin, though, said in an in­ter­view that was not the case with Ocu­lus, which he said could have cut the price sooner but wanted to wait un­til there were enough games, movies and other en­ter­tain­ment to keep a broad au­di­ence busy. The pace of game re­leases has quick­ened, mak­ing a wider ap­peal pos­si­ble, Ru­bin said: “We’re now in a space where the mass mar­ket can be much hap­pier.” — Reuters

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