Pre-orders for the Oculus Rift CV1 (1st generation consumer version) headset have just gone live at shop.oculus.com and the price... well... certainly isn't cheap. In the US each headset is listed at $599 (excluding taxes and delivery), whilst UK consumers will need to pony up £529 (inc. V.A.T. and delivery). Spare a thought for European tech enthusiasts however, who all told will need to spend over €700 to get their hand on the VR kit. Orders are expected to ship starting in March.
Each pre-order includes the Headset, single IR camera for positional tracking, and a wireless XBOX controller. Conspicuous by its absence is the Touch controller, which has been delayed past the launch of the headset. Also bundled is a copy of EVE: Valkyrie and Lucky's Tale games, so you'll be sure to have something to actually play on your CV1 when you get it.
There is however an unexpected boon for backers of the original Oculus Kickstarter. Those who pledged at the $275 level or above - somewhere in the region of 7000 people - will qualify for a free limited edition Rift, which is a very nice thank-you to those who put their money down on a long-shot.
The question now is whether the rather hefty asking price will cause a chilling effect on VR uptake and software development. On one hand it's some way from the mainstream at that price (and far above the $350 of the DK2 and £200-$400 window they mentioned to Eurogamer in 2014), but on the other hand premium (though more ubiquitous) electronics such as the iPhone have immense demand and a thriving application ecosystem despite the price tag.
More information can be found at Oculus.com, and as a reminder CEO Palmer Luckey will be hosting a Reddit AMA at 6pm PST (2am GMT) this evening.
SOURCES: Oculus.com, Eurogamer.com, Wired.com