In spite of its large price tag, at the very least $300 (or R4, 000 plus), analytic firm Suisse predict that at least 5 million Oculus Rifts will be sold next year.
That’s a lot of units; no seriously, it’s a lot. It’s even harder to imagine when you consider the recommended hardware requirements for the Oculus Rift.
NVIDIA, for example, recommends a GTX 980 at the very least. And even going the AMD route is a fairly expensive endeavour because the cheapest recommend card for either camp is in the ballpark of R8, 000.
We can’t imagine it reaching those numbers, even if the Oculus Rift releases right at the beginning of the year. Still, Facebook and Oculus likely have a few tricks up their sleeves, like selling the unit at cost to drive initial sales and give the brand a boost:
We expect Facebook to price the headsets at cost in an attempt to drive initial consumer adoption – with the expectation that the company plans to monetize the devices overtime via associated software revenue. Note that our current projections do not contemplate any software revenue, although at launch Oculus will be offering a number of made-for-VR games and video content from partnering developers and content owners – which include Sega, Lionsgate, Fox, Twitch, Hulu, and Vimeo.”
Sony and Microsoft sell their consoles at a loss relatively often, and so do a number of manufacturers to boot.
It not only drives up sales, but there’s a lot of ground to be gained in establishing a brand, an earlier adoption audience and there’s a lot of profit to be made on the software – so losses at the expense of hardware units is usually fairly viable.
Will the same strategy work for Oculus and Facebook? We guess we’ll have to see.