Virtual Reality or VR is defiantly the hot item in tech right now and probably the hot item for the holiday buying season. Google release their mobile VR head set last week called Daydream at a price point of $79. Looking at the product it seems rather comfortable to wear, easy to operate and has a few fun games to play.
Samsung Gear VR was being offered free for a while with the purchase of a galaxy phone. Samsung Gear VR is no longer free but sits at a price point of $99.99. The PlayStation VR Launch Bundle or PlayStation VR Starter Bundle are around $499.99 the PlayStation VR alone with nothing included is running about $399.99 at most retailers. Oculus Rift which in my opinion is the flagship VR headset is priced on their website at $599.00 USD.
Then there is Microsoft HoloLens which sits at a price point of $3000.00 for consumer and $5000.00 for business. Microsoft announced earlier this week that they are accepting pre-orders for HoloLens in six additional countries, Australia, Ireland, France, Germany, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Before announcement HoloLens was limited to developers and commercial customers in the U.S. and Canada only.
Microsoft has said that Windows Holographic technologies will be available on Windows 10 sometime in the first half of 2017 making the technology available through PCs with the capable hardware. HoloLens has about 80 compatible apps in the Windows Store so far with no great media attention for any of them.
What I don’t understand is how Microsoft is expecting to make money with this product. By pricing this product at 3000 dollars they have priced out the consumer. Apple made the same mistake with the first Macintosh computers. There is such a small set of people that can afford to drop $3000 dollars on a non-essential device.
Microsoft did give a Minecraft Hololens demo at E3 in 2015 but we have heard nothing ever since that time. Even if Minecraft was great on the Hololens what parent or person is going to spend that kind of money to just play one game? Minecraft the game itself only costs 27 dollars for the computer and 7 dollars for mobile and tablet edition.
The only possible way Microsoft can get any market share with this product is to target business or commercial entities, they are the only ones who could afford or justify spending that price for a Hololens. Microsoft is going to now loose the VR market to another company just like they lost the phone market to Apple.
Microsoft was far ahead in this market and because of Microsoft’s usual bad timing, bad marketing and sales strategies they are going to lose another market to another competitor. I really hope Microsoft regroups before they lose this market to another company.