For fans of Second Life and virtual worlds in general, today there’s both good news and bad. Good news: Oculus Rift, the VR headset compatible with Second Life, after years of anticipation, is available for pre-order by consumers. Bad news: It’s really effing expensive.
In the lead-up to the pre-order today, Oculus kept the introductory price of their consumer-model VR kit a closely-guarded secret. Speculation was rampant. Would it be an affordable $299 investment, or would it be priced out of casual reach? It turns out it’s the latter. And then some.
At $599 USD, the Rift will cost Canadians around $850 CAD before taxes and shipping. They’ve priced it up with high-end tablets and phones, or mid-level computers. In short, only the wealthy get to have one.
As an avid fan of virtual worlds myself, I was hoping to be among the first to upgrade to a fully immersive consumer-grade VR setup. I can’t justify the expense even though I produce content for Second Life and would probably use it almost daily. $850 CAD is too much.
So my dream of immersing myself in Second Life — seeing Bay City or 1920s Berlin, gawking at the buildings, airships, and landscapes — all that will have to wait until the price comes down by at least half. VR isn’t a reality yet.