Tag Archive

Oculus Rift Launch. Things Begin to Look Up

Posted on April 3, 2016 by Broken Joysticks

The 28th of March was the exciting big launch date of the Oculus Rift, when the premium VR headset would ship to those who had pre-ordered it. Except… It didn’t. Oculus originally generated a lot of excitement by shipping some units early, with some Kickstarter backers of the original devkit, who were promised a free consumer version, receiving their Rifts on launch day. In spite of this promising news, only a small amount of units actually went out to a handful of customers who pre-ordered, and only US Kickstarters received their free Rift. A considerable amount of people who were promised their Rift in March, myself included, had the date pass by without any sort of update from Oculus.Read More


Oculus Shows Their Hand: Launch Title Prices

Posted on March 16, 2016 by Renee Gittins

Oculus revealed the prices of their release titles at the Oculus Game Day event. The event was held in San Francisco, just outside of the popular Game Developers Convention, dozens of games intended for launch were being shown.


There is a huge range of prices for the launch content, Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games listed as $4.99 while there are several $49.99 and $59.00 titles. Below is a list of the launch games, their “comfort” rating, and their prices:

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Preview: Dead & Buried Multiplayer on Oculus Rift with Touch

Posted on March 16, 2016 by Renee Gittins

A few blocks away from the ongoing Game Developers Conference, Oculus hosted an exclusive preview event for their launch titles and other games coming to the Oculus Rift shortly after launch. One of the games being shown was Dead & Buried, a gunslinger game that makes use of the Oculus’ Touch controllers.

Dead & Buried is being developed internally by Oculus Studios and the noticeable intent of the game is to highlight the Touch controllers. While Oculus has previously showcased their single player mode of the game, at the event they set up four stations with Dead & Buried and placed four players together at a time in a 2v2 shootout. Of the dozens of games at the event, it was clearly the most popular to both play and watch, gathering a bemused crowd of developers and media. 


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HTC unveils Vive consume edition and pre-order info

Posted on February 21, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

HTC Vive

Begun the VR wars have.

Today HTC has announced their final consumer production model of their VR headset the Vive. In a blog post on their website, HTC announced that the Vive pre-orders will open Monday Feburay 29th (yes that’s leap day) at 10am eastern time. The price will be $799USD, the unit will ship in April of this year. Also important to note is that HTC’s post says

“Vive will be delivered as a complete kit allowing users to instantly jump into a fully immersive virtual environment using two wireless controllers, 360 degree tracking and room scale movement sensors”

This is different from the choice made by their nearest competitor Occulus whom chose to price their unit at $599 (200USD less), but with out the inbox sensors, and controllers. Getting the touch controllers for Occulus will set the consumer back another chunk of change(price has not yet been announced), probably bringing the prices for the two units closer together.

The HTC Vive will also ship with two VR games, Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption, and with the recent addition of the front facing camera HTC is stressing that this is not just a gaming machine. They are targeting multiple sectors including entertainment, retail, education, design, healthcare and automotive that will ultimately transform people’s lives.

Cher Wang, chairwoman and CEO, HTC is quoted in the blog post as saying

“From the beginning, Vive has been at the forefront of virtual reality, with HTC pioneering several ground breaking technologies, Since announcing Vive this time last year, we have worked tirelessly with Valve to deliver the best VR experience on the market, winning multiple awards and receiving critical acclaim from media, consumers and the industry. With the Vive consumer edition we are now able to realize our ultimate vision; bringing Vive into homes around the globe so that people can experience immersive virtual reality in a away that fires the imagination and truly changes the world.”

So what do you think? Is HTC going to take down Occulus or vice versa? Hit the jump to see their intro video that was also in the blog post

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Palmer Luckey insists “we are not making money on Rift”

Posted on January 7, 2016 by Fionna Schweit


So the Occulus Rift sold out at 600$. A price point that I belived would make it unobtainable for most average consumers. Way too much for me (I had budgeted for 450$), and 100$ more even than most industry estimates. Much more than what we heard in 2014 which was 200$-400$ and while this was in a European publication, its still fairly safe to say even in Euros that price does not match. Luckey tweeted “To reiterate, we are not making money on Rift hardware. High end VR is expensive, but Rift is obscenely cheap for what it is.”

rift price

The hole only goes farther down from there. Luckey defended the higher European prices as the result of being required to include various taxes that aren’t part of US pricing. “In fact, some countries are getting a slightly better deal than the US, all things considered—remember, we have per state sales tax,” he tweeted.tweeting at totalbiscut, he added, “European cost is because we are required to include taxes. We are not unfairly inflating the price like many consoles.”

Look I get it, this is the first VR headset, you need recoup hundreds if not thousands of hours of research and development, millions in sunk product costs and staff costs, and of course that Facebook investment. In and interview with Polygon Luckey also said that the Facebook buy out did not help with price at all in fact it may have made it worse. “What came out of that were the prototypes that became Crescent Bay [a prototype for the retail version of the hardware], and when we compared what we had to what we were making internally it was such a huge difference,” he said. “It was hard to look at what we had made before and say yeah, this is consumer ready, this is what everyone is going to want… We decided, in the end, to optimize quality over cost.”

The headset will cost 600USD$ and ship im March, the first batch of pre-orders is already sold out, and a second will ship later on. For my money, this is an expensive hack like a wraparound 4K monitor, and untill its price becomes viable I wont be buying one.


Final Rift hardware and SDK 1.0 shipping to devs

Posted on December 22, 2015 by Fionna Schweit


Occulus has officially annoucned that the first copies of the final rift hardware are “Imminently shipping”.  This basically means this week,

From the Occulus Rift website

“If you’re shipping a Rift title in Q1, you’ll need early access to Rift hardware and new platform features to finalize your game or application. The Rift SDK 1.0 and runtime include features tied to the consumer product, so we’ve currently limited the release to developers putting final touches on launch titles. We’re shipping more Rift hardware out to developers every week in the run up to launch. In the meantime, DK2 and SDK 0.8 continue to be the right platform for early Rift development — you only need SDK 1.0 if you’re imminently shipping.”

So expect to see a lot more Rift kits on your developer friends Facebooks, and exepect to see plenty more coverage from our own Renee on all things Rift in the coming weeks.


Community Corner: MMO’s Going F2P

Posted on June 5, 2013 by Trish Bennon

With intense competition pressed upon massively multiplayer online games by the explosion of the casual gaming market, developers are re-evaluating their businesses models to maintain not only their competitive edge but their overall player base.

In 2010 Turbine tossed out subscriptions for Lord of the Rings Online and replaced it with a free to play (F2P) model.  Two years later, Sony Online adopted the F2P experience for both Everquest and Star Wars Galaxies.  On June 12th, Trion Worlds will be the latest developer to climb aboard the F2P train. Historically, this shift has proven extremely profitable for developers.  The question on player’s minds is:  Will this be profitable to the veteran community?Read More


RIFT Wants You To Make a Long Term Commitment

Posted on August 14, 2012 by Rae Michelle Richards

MMORPG Rift is set to expand with the release of Storm Rift, the game’s first official expansion, later this fall. Trion Worlds hopes to entice existing and returning players by offering the expansion free of charge with a one year commitment to the game. Subscribers who shell out for the one year commitment will also receive the title of ‘Storm bringer” and an in-game “Landslide” mount.

Storm Rift is set to offer players ten addition character levels, a dozen brand new zones and customizable spaces called Dimensions.

If this particular strategy seems familiar, that’s because it is essentially the same deal Blizzard offered World of Warcraft subscribers last fall. Although, Blizzard was offering players a free copy of Diablo III for their commitment. Will Trion’s enticing free expansion be enough to lure fans of the game back? We’ll have to wait and see.


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