Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey explained the high cost on Twitter, saying the company would not be making any money on the hardware and the included Xbox One controller was not a cause to inflating the price Many expected the $350 price due to the August 2012 Kickstarter campaign, which offered the first developmental kit at the $300 level. The company sold a second generation version for $350 in March 2014.
Fast forward to March 2013 and Valve throws its hat into the Oculus ring, announcing that official Rift support is coming to Team Fortress 2 Rift developer kits begin shipping in April , inciting a flood of virtual reality projects. Some people modify existing games to work with the Rift, like Skyrim , while others create wholly original projects, like a deep sea diving simulator and a disturbing virtual guillotine Many Kickstarter projects promise Oculus support for their games. One Kickstarter project, The Gallery: Six Elements , is announced as a Rift exclusive , despite the fact that the headset still has no retail release date.
Throughout the rest of 2013, Rift projects and mods continue to make the rounds, and Oculus VR begins to gobble up talent and funding. In May, the company picks up former Valve software engineer Tom Forsyth and University of Illinois robotics scientist Steve Lavelle. Forsyth will tackle improvements on the Rift SDK, while Lavelle becomes Oculus VR’s principal scientist. In June, EVE VR, a space combat sim set in the same universe as EVE Online, generates a lot of buzz at E3 (enough praise that many Joystiq staff members make a point to set aside time to try it out before the conference is over).
In February, Oculus announces plans to co-publish EVE VR , now known as EVE: Valkyrie, as an Oculus exclusive. Meanwhile, stock of the Rift dev kit begins to run out as some of its components are no longer being manufactured. The next month, Valve’s head of VR, Atman Binstock, oculus joins Oculus as Chief Architect, and the company reveals that 60,000 dev kits have been sold. The following week, during GDC 2014 , Oculus announces that developer kit 2 (DK2) is now available for pre-order at $350. DK2 incorporates the tech used in the Crystal Cove prototype.
It’s important to note that the DK2 is not for non-technology enthusiasts. It’s not even for those who have an average knowledge about technology and computers. We have been writing about and testing technology products for years and it still took us hours to properly set up. Part of the problem is that we have a MacBook Pro 13-inch Retina and the DK2 just started running on OS X on Monday. Last week, we installed Windows 8.1 using Boot Camp and finally were able to get things working.