Standing before eager fans on Thursday ready to add some virtual reality cheer to their holiday season, Palmer Luckey played Scrooge.
The co-founder of Oculus VR, the pioneering virtual reality startup bought by Facebook for $2 billion last year, went on stage at the Game Awards ceremony in Los Angeles to announce Rock Band VR, a new virtual reality game created in collaboration with Harmonix. He said the game would likely debut by March of 2016.
He didn't, however, say anything about when hopeful VR fans, waiting for the company's flagship Oculus Rift headset, will be able to buy the headset or exactly how much it will cost. The only thing we know so far is that you can expect sticker shock of roughly $1,500, which includes the price of the computer you're going to need to run the VR experience.
With the collaboration, Harmonix joins companies like Netflix and Hulu, as well as game makers like Sega and Ubisoft, all of which are making content for virtual reality. To get that VR experience, you'll don a set of goggles that places a screen so close to your eyes you can no longer tell the difference between the computer-generated world and the one you're actually in. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, believes it will change the way we use computers and revolutionize how we communicate with each other.
The hype around the upcoming products is intense. Analysts are saying that tens of millions of these devices may be sold in the next few years, helping to attract enthusiastic investments from venture capitalists.
Which is part of why, when Luckey teased on Twitter earlier this week that he had a big announcement to make, tech industry publications began guessing that he might finally share key information about the launch of Oculus' high-end product, the Rift headset.
The company has already released the $99 Gear VR, which is an entry-level version of its technology that works with Samsung smartphones. It has also shown final designs for the Rift and discussed upcoming apps for the headset. Luckey has even demonstrated special devices that translate hand gestures to the virtual world, effectively allowing users to interact with the computer worlds with the point of a finger.
What he hasn't discussed is pricing. The device is due to land on store shelves by March 2016, but consumers still don't know how much they'll have to pay for it. The company also hasn't said when eager customers will be able to preorder the device.
In the meantime, it seems consumers will have to wait a little longer to find out anything else. Bah humbug.