It’s not just smart speakers getting a price cut this week. Facebook has knocked another $100 off the price of an Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset.
For a limited time, it’ll cost $399 with an Oculus Touch controller thrown in – whereas the two devices usually cost $499 and $99 respectively. It’s a sign of Facebook slowly turning up the heat on getting its VR hardware onto people’s faces.
Or as Oculus VP of content Jason Rubin put it to The Verge, it’s a way to attract the wallets of people who “may have been sitting on the sideline because of price… the hardware is not holding up VR adoption. It’s price and content, and now that we’ve kind of gotten to the point where we feel comfortable with content, we’re continuing to attack price”.
Oculus Rift may have ignited the current wave of VR interest, but its sales have lagged behind some of its competitors.
Research firm SuperData claimed earlier this year that Oculus Rift had sold 0.2m units in 2016, compared to 0.4m HTC Vives and 0.8m Sony PlayStation VR headsets – these being the direct rivals, rather than the cheaper, smartphone-focused Samsung Gear VR, which did 4.5m units that year.
But with Facebook’s financial might and long-term strategy, few would bet against the Rift finding a much wider audience as time goes on.