Oculus founder Palmer Luckey introduces Rock Band VR at the Game Awards on Thursday.
Palmer Luckey stood before eager fans on Thursday ready to add some virtual reality cheer to their holiday season and played Scrooge.
The co-founder of Oculus VR, the virtual reality pioneering startup bought by Facebook for $2 billion last year, went on stage at an the Game Awards ceremony in Los Angeles to announce Rock Band VR, a new virtual reality game created in collaboration with Harmonix. He said the game would likely debut in the first quarter of 2016.
But he didn’t say anything about when eager VR fans, waiting for the Oculus Rift, will be able to buy the headset or how much it will cost. The only thing we know so far is that it will cost less than $1,000 — and that includes the price of the computer you’re going to need to run the VR experience.
With the collaboration, Harmonix joins other companies like Netflix and Hulu, as well as game makers like Sega and Ubisoft, who are all making content for VR, which in reality is a set of goggles that places a screen so close to your eyes you can no longer tell the difference between the computer-generated world and the one you’re actually in. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, believes it will change the way we use computers and revolutionize how we communicate with each other.
The hype around the upcoming products is intense. Analysts are say tens of millions of these devices may be sold in the next few years, helping to attract already enthusiastic investments from venture capitalists.
Which is part of why, when Luckey teased on Twitter earlier this week that he had a big announcement to share, tech industry publications began guessing he might finally share key information about the launch of Oculus’s flagship product, the Rift headset.
The company has already released its $99 Gear VR, which is an entry-level version of its technology that works with Samsung smartphones. It has also shown final designs for the Rift and discussed upcoming apps that will be available for it as well. Luckey has even demonstrated special devices that translate hand gestures to the virtual world, effectively allowing users to interact with the computer worlds with the point of a finger.
What he hasn’t discussed is pricing. The device is due to land on store shelves by March of 2016, but consumers still don’t know how much they’ll have to pay for it. The company also hasn’t said when eager customers will be able to pre-order the device.
Oculus has said in total, the headset and a computer capable of powering the immersive worlds developers are creating, will cost about $1,500.
In the meantime, it seems consumers will have to wait a little longer to find out anything else. Bah humbug.