In a bid to increase sales and access to its VR headset, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is reducing the price of its Oculus VR gear. This will include the Touch controller and the headset. A set of the two will retail at $598 having dropped from $799. If the two items are bought separately, the discount will still apply.
The chief of PC/VR at Oculus, Brendan Iribe denied that the reason for the slashing of the price had anything to do with declining sales.
“VR is a whole new platform and medium, it’s the first time people are putting a computer on their head. We are cutting the price to bring VR to more people, and that’s always been our goal,” Iribe said in an interview with USA Today.
The reduction in prices does not however include a computer which needs to be high-powered, and therefore in most cases expensive. It remains to be seen whether this latest effort to lure more people into virtual reality will work.
Other efforts that Facebook has initiated in order to broaden the base of appeal for virtual reality includes adding more gaming content. Recently, Oculus disclosed that it had added eight new titles.
Another effort has been putting up pop-up locations all over the United States from where more people could be introduced to VR technology. Last month, however, the social media giant, shut down 200 out of 500 pop-up locations that it had set up at Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) stores in a move that was explained as motivated by the need to focus on stores with higher traffic.
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Among the various competitors in the VR headset space, Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) recently disclosed that it had sold close to a million VR devices in one quarter which was rated as successful since the company had been targeting sales of a million units in six months. Compared to the sales of smartphones which are usually in the range of multi-millions, VR gear sales are lagging far behind. Projections from analysts also suggest a shrinking market as initial enthusiasm seems to have waned.
Shares of Facebook Inc fell by 0.48% to close Thursday’s trading session at $136.76.