Facebook-owned Oculus has for the second time this year reduced the price of its Rift VR headset and its Touch controllers, offering the Rift in a special summer deal for $399 with the hand controllers included at no extra charge.
The company announced the special limited time pricing in a July 10 blog post touting its "Summer of Rift," saying it is dropping the price to encourage more users to try the systems.
When the Rift VR headset began shipping in March 2016, it sold for $599, according to an earlier eWEEK story. The Touch hand controllers later were offered for $199, bringing the total package to $798.
The Rift is equipped with dual active-matrix organic LED (AMOLED) displays which let users explore virtual worlds with the device. The Rift also uses an infrared LED constellation tracking system that provides precise, low-latency 360-degree orientation and position tracking for users for accurate control and operation when playing games and simulations.
Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook for $1.9 billion in March 2014 to diversify the social media company's business interests, didn't reveal why it was cutting prices again, but the move could signal a desire to move stock in preparation for a new model release later this summer or fall.
The virtual reality hardware company will hold its annual Oculus Connect developer conference Oct. 11-12 in San Jose, Calif., where it is likely to introduce new products.
"Summer of Rift is all about celebrating the VR community and encouraging new people to get in the game," the company said in its announcement. The included Touch controllers allow users to see their own hands in virtual reality, where they can "grab and throw objects, cast spells, or paint and sculpt like the real thing," according to Oculus.
This is the second time this year the company has cut the price of the Rift VR viewer. In March 2017, Oculus cut the Rift price to $598 with the Touch controllers, which was a $200 price drop from its original prices, according to an earlier Oculus blog post.
The Touch controllers were also reduced to $99 from $199 for Rift owners who had not yet purchased them. The price of an additional Oculus Sensor was cut to $59. Those price cuts were made as the Rift reached its first birthday.
Rift now has more than 500 game titles available today, with more game titles on the way, according to the company. Also available are interactive films and immersive experiences to explore using the VR headset and Touch controllers.