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Oculus Rift closes in on Vive after summer sale

/ 03:14 PM September 06, 2017

Facebook co-founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, using Oculus Rift in October 2016. Image: AFP/Glenn Chapman

Facebook’s virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift, enjoyed a surge in ownership among computer gamers in August, after a mid-year price cut took effect in July.

The Oculus Rift increased its market share among VR headset owners using PC gaming service Steam, according to the Steam Hardware and Software Survey for August 2017.

The monthly survey showed that the Oculus Rift accounted for 43.8 percent of VR headsets associated with users’ computers.


That figure represents an increase of 8.1 percent on July, when Rift ownership would have been registered at 35.7 percent, observes GamesIndustry, an upward trend that has the Rift closing in on the higher-spec HTC Vive, which was developed in partnership with Valve itself.

Both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive were launched in 2016, and both have received price drops in 2017.

For the duration of a July and August promotional sale, the Rift was priced at $399 (over $20,000) before returning to $499 (over $25,000) in September.

The Vive, whose higher price is offset by gains in room-scale movement tracking, was reduced in price from $799 (nearly $41,000) to $599 (over $30,000) towards the end of August.

As RoadToVR notes, growing awareness of Steam compatibility among Rift users and the launch of HTC’s competing Viveport service could have contributed to the change in percentage share, but the primary driver is thought to have been that Summer of Rift price drop.

Oculus VR was purchased by Facebook for $2.3 billion in 2014, and partnered with Samsung over screen technology for the former and a Gear VR visor for devices in the latter’s Galaxy range.

Sony launched a $399 (over $20,000) PlayStation VR for PlayStation 4 consoles late on in 2016, with Google’s Daydream arriving the same month along with the company’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones.

Microsoft and a selection of tech partners are preparing the Windows VR line for October 2017, with entry-level prices set at $399 (over $20,000) and scaling upwards accordingly. JB



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