Why Facebook's Oculus Rift Has Already Lost the Virtual Reality Battle
Sure, Facebook's Oculus Rift has been shaking the foundations of the tech world for so long now, we can hardly wait to see it in action. (We being the general public). But that is kind of the problem. It has literally been years since we first started hearing about the Oculus Rift. I am quite certain it will be amazing when it comes out, but I feel like it may be too late. The rest of us will have at least tried Google's silly (genius) trip into virtual reality by the time Oculus hits. More importantly, we will have tried hundreds of apps. And Yes, some of if not most of the apps will be terrible, but some will utterly impress. In short, by the time the Oculus arrives, we will have already been sold on the idea that a piece of $15 cardboard actually holds the key to some pretty awesome virtual reality experiences. Will we then be willing to turn around and shell out 20 or 30 times that price for a $300-$500 Rift?
The Oculus will have to answer some very tough questions in order to gain customers. The first major question will be, "Can the Oculus deliver a VR experience that is twice as good as Google's little Cardboard wonder. That is laughable. Of course Oculus can. What about 3 times as good? Yep. It sure will. Ok, how about 5 times as good. Well ... probably? 10 times? 20 times? 30 times as good? Ehe, maybe not. Think about it. When something is twice as good as something else. That is pretty fantastic. When it is 5 times as good, that is out of this world and really uncommon. Yet Oculus will have to deliver 30 times as good of a product in order for the customers to be willing to pay 30 times the price. Good luck, Oculus. Even if the customer sees the value of the Oculus as 30 times the price of Cardboard, they may not be able to afford such a luxury device. Now, I know full well that a Lamborghini is worth 20 times the price of my Jeep, but that does not mean I am in the market for a Lambo. While it is posssible that there will be enough room in the virtual reality market for 2 major players, I have a hunch, that is not the kind of run-away success Facebook was looking for when it bought the Oculus Rift for 2 billion dollars.