The next six weeks will see the price of the Oculus Rift VR headset slashed by $200 — a staggering discount that makes the headset the cheapest standalone VR gaming machine in the market — and one of the most widely recognized, at that.
Oculus applied a temporary price drop because it's willing to expand the user base. That's according to Jason Rubin, the company's VP of content, speaking to PC Gamer.
Oculus has reached a point where there's plenty of things to do and games to play if a person buys a Rift headset, he said. The most logical way of doing that is by bringing the cost of the machine down.
The Importance Of VR Exclusives, According To Rubin
Amid the price drop, Rubin has now spoken about the importance of exclusive titles on its VR platform, responding to a query about Oculus cofounder Palmer Luckey donating to a venture that wants to bring Rift exclusives to other VR hardware.
Rubin highlighted the entrance of other companies such as Google and Sony into the VR landscape and thinks what they're doing — building a dedicated VR platform and creating exclusives for it — is commendable. Such efforts can increase VR adoption.
"I applaud all those companies for doing what they're doing, because they make the job of bringing VR to the masses easier for me, and they make it better for consumers," he said.
The goal for Oculus ever since the beginning was to spend the right money to create an ecosystem, and Rubin believes such an ecosystem has been, for the last 90 days, kicking into full gear.
Rubin notes that several critics of its approach have told Oculus that what it's doing for VR is wrong — focusing on making exclusives, that is — and Rubin simply doesn't know how to answer that. He believes the main goal of Oculus is to create the best VR content possible for its own platform and for that content to convince people to buy VR headsets.
If We Create Exclusive Titles, Feel Free To Copy It: Rubin
But won't people just buy Oculus headsets that way and not other hardware? Well, Rubin believes that other companies should find what's working on one platform and try to recreate a similar experience for their own platform.
"That's the way the industry works. I stole a lot from Donkey Kong Country when I made Crash Bandicoot. Insomniac stole a lot from Crash Bandicoot when they made Ratchet & Clank. Including our crates," he said.
Put simply, Rubin believes that its own VR platform can thrive by creating exclusives or funding developers who want to create exclusive titles for the Oculus VR platform. If, perchance, companies want to emulate some of its software, Rubin seems pretty lax about that possibility, even encouraging to an extent. This way, the whole VR ecosystem can also thrive.
Though contentious, Rubin has a point in his approach to exclusives. The console market has thrived because of it. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all have titles you can only play on their individual systems. It creates an entirely competitive landscape often based on software alone.
Time will tell if Rubin's approach pays off.
Thoughts about Rubin's plans for Oculus with regard to exclusives? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!