Oculus Kickstarter Backers Just Got a Great Surprise
Pre-orders for the Oculus Rift Consumer Edition virtual reality headset open Wednesday in the middle of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. But early believers in virtual reality got a surprise update from the Oculus crew today: All Kickstarter backers of Oculus Rift are getting a free retail version of the virtual reality headset shipped to them.
“As one of the early supporters of Oculus, you helped make this revolution happen,” reads an announcement on the original Oculus Rift Kickstarter page. “As a small token of our appreciation for your support, all Kickstarter backers who pledged for a Rift development kit will get a free Kickstarter Edition Oculus Rift.”
Kickstarter backers will also receive two games: Lucky’s Tale and EVE Valkyrie. To get their free Rift, all backers have to fill out a survey that’s being sent from Kickstarter before Feb. 1.
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Oculus Rift pulled in just shy of $2.5 million through Kickstarter after launching the page in August 2012. Since then, the company was purchased by Facebook (FB) for $2.5 billion in 2014. Facebook will begin taking pre-orders over the Oculus website for the virtual reality headset on Jan. 6 at 8 a.m. PT. Each headset box includes one Microsoft (MSFT) Xbox One controller, and those who pre-order the Oculus VR headset will also receive the two games Kickstarter backers are getting.
Still to come: the Oculus Touch handheld virtual reality controllers, which Facebook delayed releasing until at least the second quarter of 2016.
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What remains to be seen is the price of the Oculus system, which is slated to be announced Wednesday at CES. Analysts have pegged the cost of the Rift and Touch anywhere between $399 and $599. Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster told Fortune he expects Oculus to launch in March for $450, at a $100 loss.
“If Facebook sells 350,000 units at a $100 loss, that would imply a $35 million investment in 2016,” Munster told Fortune.