Mark Zuckerberg doesn't want you to overpay for an Oculus Rift

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If he gets one, we want one, too

Many bemoaned Facebook buying Oculus earlier this year, but Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe took the time at E3 2014 to explain why, again, the purchase only means good things for consumers.

A surprising positive, as outlined by Iribe in an interview with Ars Technica, is that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to sell the Oculus Rift at a lower price than even he does.

"I think [the Facebook buyout] is going to allow us to deliver consumer V1 at a lower cost, because we're not trying to drive a high margin on this," Iribe said. "Mark [Zuckerberg], especially, wants to bring the cost down, him more than me.

"I do, too, but at the same time we were planning to run a business, hopefully a break-even [or] profitable business off of this, not a money-losing business. Mark is much more in the mindset of, 'Let's get this to scale with the best quality product at the lowest cost possible.'"

Facebook's cachet (and cash) will help up-scale Rift production, and that should translate to more units at a lower cost to consumers.

Lowered expectations

Iribe also said that while the hardware for consumer V1 of Rift is pretty much settled, thanks to Facebook, Oculus Rift 2 will be "totally incredible."

Despite what you may think, Oculus doesn't expect the first Rift to sell on the level of the Xbox One or PS4 right away.

"It's not going to be a consumer-scale market," Iribe told Ars. "It always could be, but that's not the goal. The goal is to set expectations low, get enthusiasts and early adopters to get into the space, get feedback, get developers making really great content[.]"

"North of a million units" is what he's hoping the first consumer version can do.

Expectations for the first Oculus Rift may be tempered, but Iribe said that when Oculus Rift 2 launches a year or two later, VR should finally be hitting its consumer stride thanks to great games and apps.

That doesn't mean the first Rift will be a wash; Iribe explained the unit we see on sale will have "a few new developments" and improved screen resolution, frame rate, tracking accuracy and comfort over the DK2.

Though the Oculus Rift V1 hardware is pretty much locked down for consumers, it won't be until there's enough content and a way for developers to monetize that it's released to the public. When might that be?

"I think Palmer [Luckey] said, 'If we haven't shipped by the end of 2015, that's a problem,'" Iribe offered. "At least we would be disappointed."

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.