Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has carried out worth reductions for its Oculus Rift virtual reality hardware, decreasing the value of the headset by $100 (now $499) and the bundle that includes the platform’s Touch controllers by $200 (now $598). The worth for separate Touch controllers has additionally been decreased from $199 to $99, and the value for a further Rift sensor has dropped from $79 to $59.
The markdowns come on the heels of disappointing gross sales for the platform, and are the first main worth reductions for the high-end VR gadget. HTC‘s (NASDAQOTH:HTCXF) Vive platform, not itself an ideal success, has shipped someplace in the neighborhood of 420,000 models, and studies recommend that the Vive (which is priced at $800 for the headset and controllers) has bought roughly twice as many models as the Rift. HTC has stated that it doesn’t see a necessity to chop the worth of the Vive in response to the markdowns for Rift hardware.
Does it matter?
Price cuts for the Rift and its supplementary hardware in all probability will not spur a large, sustained gross sales uptick, however they do level to a broader development of virtual reality units turning into inexpensive this yr. Companies together with Lenovo, HP, and Dell shall be launching mid-range headsets for Microsoft‘s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows Holographic platform — with costs beginning in the $300 vary. These merchandise can be suitable with a wider vary of PCs and are more likely to put strain on Facebook’s and HTC’s VR hardware choices.
While HTC has said that it has no plans for a Vive worth minimize, gross sales of the gadget have slowed dramatically since its April 2016 launch, and it is affordable to anticipate that the firm will scale back the value of its VR hardware this yr in response to new market dynamics.
Both the Rift and the Vive require highly effective PCs to run, so worth will stay a big barrier to mainstream adoption of high-end virtual reality headsets whilst costs fall this yr. There’s additionally a scarcity of standout software program to drive gross sales of Facebook’s and HTC’s respective VR platforms, so low-cost headsets from Samsung and Alphabet and mid-range options like the Windows Holographic units will doubtless proceed to realize market share.
Suzanne Frey, an government at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of administrators. Teresa Kersten is an worker of LinkedIn and is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of administrators. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. Keith Noonan has no place in any shares talked about. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A and C shares), and Facebook. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.