Oculus Rift launching with free app store, paid to follow

Oculus Rift launching with free app store, paid to follow

Speaking at the first Oculus Rift conference held in Los Angeles on 19 September, VP of handheld devices Max Cohen gave some clues as to how developers will eventually be able to monetise their Rift games.

"We're going to launch initially with a free store," explains Cohen, "but maybe a month later, follow along with commerce."

As indicated by the slow, but steady march toward a retail version of the virtual reality headset, Oculus Rift isn't rushing toward the finish line. It's putting its ducks carefully in a row so the system, ideally, runs smooth and stable when it finally makes it to the digital store shelves.

Rift Store?

But business remains at the core of the plan. "At the end of the day, as great as doing the art for free and sharing that is, we will have a hundred times more content when people can actually monetize it," he continues.

This is a business. There's nothing wrong with that.
Max Cohen

"This is a business. There's nothing wrong with that. People need to be able to feed themselves. Our job is to make the platform as friendly for developers as we can so that it's painless."

Thus far it's been tricky to visualise exactly how Oculus will deliver games and apps for its virtual reality experience. Whether it would be content with selling the hardware and letting developers sell software via their own outlets, or whether it'll go Apple's route and put an attractive, yet very tall picket fence around its ecosystem.

Cohen's remarks are beginning to suggest the latter, with a Rift Store in the works - probably offering the now-industry standard 70/30 split - to deliver quality-approved games to the virtual reality users around the world.

There's as much scope for apps as there is for games in a digital Rift Store.

We're currently all more preocupied about the specs of the actual hardware, which is still under wraps even though a new dev kit was announced at the conference, but it's interesting to ponder how the software side of things is also going to work.

Right now, our money is on an iTunes-style Rift Store.


Yes. Spanner's his real name. And, yes, he's heard that joke before.