Oculus Rift finally goes on sale with mystery price tag

Facebook-owned Oculus will release its virtual reality (VR) Rift headset to consumers for pre-order on Wednesday but one big question remains: how much will it cost?

In a blog post on Monday, Oculus revealed very little except that pre-orders will open from 8am Pacific time. The company also said that each headset will come with two free games – "Lucky's Tale" and "CCP's EVE: Valkyrie".

Oculus executives last year hinted that the Rift headset and a computer needed to run it will cost no more than $1,500 altogether. But there was no sign as to when the device would be shipped to consumers.

To shed more light on the topic, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey will be holding a Reddit "ask me anything" event on Wednesday before the Rift goes on pre-order.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Oculus Rift started as a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 and managed to raise nearly $2.5 million. In 2014, Facebook acquired the start-up for $2 billion, in what was seen as a big boost to virtual reality.

Luckey has a long-term view on virtual reality and said at an event last year that devices using the technology would be"more ubiquitous" than the smartphone in 15 years.

Virtual reality was a big buzzword in 2015 and is expected to make a strong appearance at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. But Oculus is not the only player in the space. Samsung released its own headset – the Gear VR – last year for $99. Sony's own PlayStation VR – a headset for its games console – is also set to go on sale this year. Taiwan's HTC and Google are two of the other companies that have jumped in to the sector.

And the industry is seen growing quickly with shipments of virtual reality headsets expected to jump from 3 million this year, to 30 million by 2020 globally, according to market research firm Juniper Research.

"This is going to be an exciting week for VR," Oculus said in a blog post.