Oculus slashed the original price tag in half to $400 on the Rift +Touch bundle last week, but the company’s ‘Summer of Rift’ sale only lasts for six weeks, leaving the question on the table as to exactly how much the VR headset + motion controller bundle would return to once the sale is up. Oculus says: $500

At the start of 2017, the Oculus Rift + Touch controllers cost the same as the HTC Vive—$800. To attract more potential interest, Oculus then dropped the bundle to $600, while HTC concurrently offered an interest-free finance plan for its still $800 room-scale VR system.

Now Oculus has issued its new ‘permanent’ Rift + Touch bundle price, a clear $300 lower than the HTC Vive is currently.

image courtesy Oculus

Former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, now head of PC VR at Oculus’ parent company Facebook, says the original Rift + Touch bundle is already sold out. Iribe says the company has accelerated a new all-in-one box—likely intended for the post-sale period—that critically excludes both the previously bundled Xbox One controller and Oculus Remote. Iribe tweeted yesterday that the removal of the controllers is primarily a cost-cutting measure, one that he says saves $100 per purchase.

Like 3D platformer and launch title Lucky’s Tale (2016), all of the games shipped pre-Touch were originally designed for the Xbox One controller, the company’s first bundled controller before Touch launched in December of last year.

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While there are many games that have included retroactive Touch support, there are still some games on the Oculus Store that currently list ‘gamepad only’ as an input method. With the entrance of a gamepad-free bundle, there will likely be a push for every game on the store to offer Touch support moving forward.

image courtesy Oculus

The send-off of the Oculus Remote is much less dramatic, although not entirely insignificant. The device was designed to make media consumption an easier task, with its tactile volume buttons and touchpad that let you easily navigate non-gaming apps.

The new all-in-one bundles will be available wherever Rift is sold, online or at brick-and-mortar partner stores like Best Buy and Microsoft Store. New all-in-one bundles include:

  • Rift Headset + Cables
  • Touch controllers  + two sensors
  • Six free titles when you activate Touch
    • Lucky’s Tale (2016)
    • Oculus Medium (2017)
    • Toybox (2017)
    • Oculus Quill (2017)
    • Dead and Buried (2017)
    • Robo Recall (2017)

The amount of free content far exceeds the six games that come with the bundle however. We’ve rounded up 17 of the most important free VR games and experiences to download.

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  • Moyenitude

    Nice direct contradiction to what was said one year ago :
    “The Xbox controller costs us almost nothing to bundle”

    • Omar Ceja Salgado

      Exactly my thought. It was pretty obvious that it was a strategic decition at the time due to a Microsoft partnership, and an excuse to justify selling Rift before anyone else even if it meant not having an imput device ready for launch.

      • Get Schwifty!

        It’s called “business”, the same reason Vive shipped with a fairly unrefined HMD and wand design by the opinion of more than a few folks.

        • Omar Ceja Salgado

          I don’t disagree with your argument, it’s just that they say one thing and did another. Initially Palmer Luckey said he believed in the need of special input devices for VR and that Rift would ship with such, as we know it ended up being released with an Xbox controller instead (most likely a business decision that would help Microsoft relate its brand to VR long before they actually released something of their own, at the same time it would help Oculus have an input device to release Rift sooner rather than having to wait for their controllers to be ready). The reaction to Rift being released with an Xbox controller led to Oculus say that sitting experiences was their priority and the Xbox controller was basically given as part of the package free. Now the argument for the controller no longer being part of the bundle is that it actually reduces the price of the package by $100 which kind of contradicts the previous argument.
          In anycase, it’s great that Rift is being sold much much cheaper as it would increase its adoption and eventually force HTC to reduce Vive’s price as well.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Personally I find this comment questionable – “The reaction to Rift being released with an Xbox controller led to Oculus say that sitting experiences was their priority “. The reason I find his hard to buy is that clearly room scale was not seriously planned up front, whether they planned on a Xbox controller or Touch. Arguments exist in a context at the time, clearly conditions changed. Regardless, I think the whole rigamorole about the use of the Xbox controller, included or not to be one of the biggest bits of absurdity people focus on, as though it was some massive misstep and somehow Oculus shit on the market for daring to release a HMD without “proper” controllers. It’s stupid because there was no software available for Touch at the time, and a Xbox controller made quite a bit of sense then, and it no longer does.

    • impurekind

      Considering it was clearly a deal with Microsoft to bundle controllers, I’m pretty sure it cost them almost nothing to bundle. The odds are that Microsoft actually gave them the controllers for next to nothing just to get the brand out there.

    • Get Schwifty!

      How so? No contradiction if you think about partnerships, etc. at the time, but why bundle it for any cost if not necessary to balance out the cost for a price point and since the arrival of Touch which they want to focus on why include it? Makes perfect sense really and was predicted by myself and others for a long time. It also fit in with their plan to get to market with a front facing, seated play first.

      • Caven

        I do think ditching the XBox One controller is a good idea overall, but if removing those items can bring the price down by $100, either they were seriously overcharging for the items included, or the XBox One controller cost a lot more to bundle than they claimed. Actually, now that I think about it, both may be true. It’s possible to get a Steam controller for $50 which has way more functionality than the Oculus remote. A Steam controller and an XBox One controller combined would cost a little more than $100. A limited functionality remote and a severely discounted XBox One controller shouldn’t come out to anywhere near $100. Removing $30-50 of components isn’t going to bring the price down $100 by itself.

        If they wanted to focus on seated gameplay using a gamepad at first, that’s fine. But claiming the gamepad wasn’t driving up the price appreciably and pretending that standing VR was a safety hazard while at the same time developing technology for standing VR isn’t particularly honest. If they had said that they wanted to provide the equipment necessary for a fully-featured seated experience while they worked on developing the most polished standing experience they could, I’d have had a much more favorable impression of Oculus.

        • Get Schwifty!

          Oh come on, don’t you think you are parsing an off-hand comment t a bit much? It’s pretty clear they had a deal with MS, but probably not now, which is a contributor to cost. I don’t think they ever “pretended” standing VR was a safety risk to justify bundling Xbox controllers, that is reading far more into it. There is no dishonesty when they always claimed seated/standing 180′ was their target market initially, and even denoted full 360′ play as “experimental” from the get-go, but Touch wasn’t ready when they decided to ship. The problem here is not really one of “honesty”, it’s about business decisions to release when they think the market is right with what they have ready, nothing more. Sounds to me like you have an attitude over the company, so any thing they do is suspect. Not much one can do to argue with that kind of predisposed sentiment as it’s always easy to conjure up suspect rationales for almost any decision a company makes.

          By this kind of thinking one would be totally justified in thinking that Vive was “dishonest” because they knowingly released a HMD with what many users and reviewers consider to be a poor strap design, then charged a premium to “fix” the problem later. Ditto for the controllers.

          In the beginning, with a $599 package, and a probable reduction in price from a budding partnership, there cost to ship was probably $50 or less for both additional controllers, if that. Now when trying to bring the cost down to gain market share, when they want to emphasize Touch, they jettison both controllers to control costs. Suddenly a cost of even $50 is significant, it makes perfect sense to get rid of them, but the $100 is a reference probably to the previous normal package mark up for both items.

          • Kei Loper

            Nice to see a well thought out adult comment in a comments section. I thought about posting a short blurb about how business and relationships work, and the relationship with marketing/messaging. You’ve already put it in more than plain enough English that I don’t feel like it’s needed at all.:)

            Well said.

            I think this is a SMART move by Oculus, it should help spur things along pretty nicely. I only have one pause, and that’s to the Oculus Remote itself being removed. I use an app or two that do not have Touch functionality, or at least are not the primary input so it’s a bit elementary at this time. I’m curious what the plan is behind closed doors to deal with those, specifically Oculus Video (which doesn’t work with Touch), and to a much lesser extent, Big Screen (Beta), which does work with Touch.

        • dogbite

          It is logical to assume they weren’t going to get what ever deal they had with MS to bundle the controller to last for ever. They aren’t just saving on the Xbox ctlr, They are saving on packaging and shipping Touch separately. They are shipping the original bundle in 2 boxes. I can see removing what they did adding up to $100. They also removed the Guitar Hero dongle.

  • impurekind

    Shame you lose the controller and remote, I actually use them a lot (and not just for VR games), but it’s still a great deal relative to the competition.

    • Get Schwifty!

      I’m somewhat surprised at losing the remote, it was handy in a few cases but if you never had it, and Touch is bundled why would you really need it when you can just use Touch?

      • polysix

        the remote is very cool, luckily I got the old sku when i bought the deal :) feels good to use in cinema stuff and farlands. Should have kept the remote imo so other devs could rely on it if needed. gamepad being ditched was probably for the best. Bundling touch was far more vital!

      • Nisei

        Because Touch is a lot more clunky than having a tiny remote around your wrist. When I’m watching movies or other things that only require main button presses I always use the remote and put it in my pocket when I don’t need it for a while. That way I can pop a soda and relax instead of having a touch controller in my hand all the time.

        • Kei Loper

          I agree, I wish they would’ve kept the remote, or perhaps they’ll do something to make it easily available to the new buyers that want it.

          I watch a ton of movies/videos/twitch (E3 conferences and Evo2017 were AMAZING watching this way), and the Remote is very very important to me for those things. I usually have it tied to my arm while watching.

          Sit back with some popcorn, and a drink (with straw lol), and the Oculus is freaking amazing at this. I can never again say I ‘missed a movie when it was in the theaters’ again, and now I can go back and see others I wished I had seen that way. It’s been a godsend. :)

  • GigaSora

    This is all making me wish I would’ve waited a little longer before buying my Vive. It really seemed like Vive was going to be better, but there’s always next generation I suppose.

    • J.C.

      Yeah, gotta keep in mind that there are massive improvements to be had before most of us will say “yes, ok, this is the way it was truly meant to be”:

      Second and third gen headsets may leap so far ahead of the current ones that it’ll feel like the flip phone-to-smartphone revelation. Eye tracking, foveated rendering and much higher resolution screens all currently exist. Better lenses that allow a wider FOV without distortion are being worked on. Oculus’ Touch controllers are currently considered the best things for motion control, but Knuckles look determined to take that crown when they show up.

      All those are KNOWN to exist, just not quite at consumer-release level yet. There will be so, SO many advances in this field, VR is like Christmas for hardware experimenters. Haptic systems, full-body tracking, proper locomotion solutions…if VR doesn’t implode early, the next ten+ years will be amazing to see.

      • GigaSora

        I just meant I should have bought a Rift haha. My wording was confusing. But I also agree with what your saying. Its gonna be sweet.

      • MW

        Wow. Chill dude:-) And read less sf…

      • Get Schwifty!

        And of course, Touch 2.0 will almost certainly be a step up from the knuckles controllers… don’t think Oculus is going to sit idly by on that one.

    • polysix

      just don’t waste any more money on Vive add-ons, wait for gen 2 or sell vive and buy the rift while on offer (i sold my vive last year and just bought the rift and it’s MUCH MUCH MUCH nicer!! Love it – really didn’t like the flaws of the vive – rift is so much more ergonomic and has way better clarity/screens/lenses and controls!)

      • RFC_VR

        i had 2 Vive’s (both now sold) and thoroughly enjoyed the somewhat experimental dev-kit nature of the experience including buggy software and creating workarounds for HMD strap, audio, 3-in-1 cable control, etc.

        But would not buy another 1st gen Vive, even with a bundled audio strap (which will surely happen at some point)

        If my PC build was ready and I was looking to purchase a PC VR rig today, it would be the Rift no doubt; at least until 2nd generation HMD’s with significant improvements show up. at £399 its almost 1/2 price of Vive in the UK, much easier to swallow.

        My feelings after some VR time with Rift were excellent Touch controls, good optics with wide sweet spot, very comfortable HMD, polished software.

      • GigaSora

        I guess that is a good option, yeah. Maybe I’ll do that. Maybe all we Vive owners should do that.

  • 500 is still an awesome price for adoption… wow!

  • I’m fine with the remote/controller missing, just ensure all Oculus apps work with Touch

  • Andrew Jakobs

    Hmmm, that makes me think that i should buy it now, it’s cheaper AND it still has both controllers.

  • Simon Enqvist

    With this in mind it seems that the Summer of Rift sale was meant to move the remaining stock of separate headsets and controllers. Does seem however that they moved it faster than expected since they changed the deal to the bundle just one day into the sale.

  • Lucidfeuer

    “Remotes” are going to be part of AR/VR for a long-time, even might become the new smartphone form-factor in the future. It’s an odd decision to get rid of it.