When Frank Azor, the cofounder of Dell’s Alienware gamer PC division and the general manager of XPS, saw a demo of Oculus VR’s virtual reality headset for the first time, his first question was, “How can we help?” That was awhile ago, and at the recent 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas, Alienware showed how it would help.
During CES, Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, had to apologize for saying that the newly announced price for the Rift, which goes on sale formally on March 28, was “cheap” — even though, at $600, it costs more than Oculus originally expected.
Dell, meanwhile, said that it would price its VR-ready Alienware machines at $1,000, or about $100 or $200 below the usual price of its gamer PCs. Alienware also made it easy to order an Oculus-ready PC from its website. VR on the PC isn’t going to be cheap, and a very small percentage of PC owners will be able to run VR on their machines. But over time, Luckey and Azor are confident that VR will reach the masses.