Speaking to Polygon, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey explained how in the end the Oculus Rift became more expensive than everyone thought it would, but basically it seemed that this is largely thanks to Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus, in which it gave the creators access to more resources that allowed them to do more with the Rift than before.
According to Luckey, “The Facebook resources allowed us to do that, to say we want to make custom panels. What would a made-for-virtual-reality panel look like? How high can we push the refresh rate on these panels, how low can we push the persistence, how high fill can we get on these? What can we do with multiple displays with optics that are a sealed package and move to adjust [interpupillary distance]?”
The end result is a lot of experimenting and the addition of new features, all of which ultimately resulted in the price going up from what was initially expected to cost $300-400. However even at $599, it seems that this won’t even yield that high of a profit margin. Last we heard, Luckey was saying that the Oculus Rift could be sold nearly at cost where the goal is to get the device into as many hands as possible.