both made some big virtual reality news Tuesday, giving us a better look at the landscape both companies are playing in going forward.
Let’s look at Facebook first. We now know when the Oculus Quest standalone VR headset and the Rift S (the incremental upgrade to the original Rift) are going to ship. That’s May 21
. I reviewed the Quest
, and I find it as a step forward, opening up the possibilities of standalone VR for game development. Rift S is an enhancement of the existing platform, but it’s the high-end for Oculus now.
And all of this is fine. Oculus now has a low-end media option (Go), a consumer-friendly game machine (Quest), and a high-end option for the VR hardcore audience (Rift and Rift S).
Now, I’m a little more confused about Valve’s Index
. This, my friends, is for the hardcore of the hardcore. It’s expensive. The headset itself is $500. But you can also spend money on:
- A pair of controllers for $280 (or packaged with the headset for $750)
- A $150 base station
- A VR kit with all of it (and an additional base station) is $1,000
Now, someone chimed in on Twitter and said that Index is an enterprise option. And it may! But Valve isn’t an enterprise company. It’s a digital retailer and makes games. The store page doesn’t mention enterprise once, but Steam’s sure there! Why would Valve target a headset for the enterprise, a market it doesn’t make and sell products for? It makes no sense to me.
Does it to you?
— Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor