Perfection Has A Price.
Anyone who has touched earlier prototypes and now the final consumer version of the Rift can feel the difference. Thousands of hours of incredibly talented industrial designers, material scientists, packaging experts and software developers have made the consumer version of the Oculus Rift nothing short of perfect. From the enjoyably springy handle on the box, to the redesigned lighter and undeniably better headset, built in headphones, to the seamless setup process, fun teaser demos and the new oculus home world—it's pretty much perfect. The screen is crisp and the head tracking is wicked fast, no latency that I could detect, Oculus has spent it's Facebook cash well.
But at $599 plus requiring a suitably powerful computer (typically about $1,500) is pretty steep in a world with declining PC sales and the majority of gamers preferring the convenience of consoles. Also while it isn't a closed system, it certainly took a lot of cues from the Galaxy Gear VR platform, which doesn't allow you to run apps outside of the their own ecosystem. If feels closed—and that feels a little sad—but that's the unfortunate reality. Consumers for the most part like closed, easy and convenient. But for those of us who saw VR as a gateway to a cool and interesting cyberpunk future, it's a bit of downer.
Oculus has made an amazing product with slick mass potential, and for that they deserve to be rewarded. But I hope world-changing apps come along sooner than later to empower us in VR vs. just entertain and distract us with slick $60 games.