Oculus controllers enhance the feeling of existing within the game you’re playing.
They fit into your hand and make controlling your character in the game feel more realistic.
However, Oculus controllers aren’t cheap, and you might wonder why you need to pay so much for a controller that isn’t that large.
Why Are Oculus Controllers So Expensive? (10 Reasons)
A pair of Oculus Meta Quest Touch Pro controllers cost $299 while a single Meta Quest 2 controller costs $74.99 or $149.99 for a single Quest Touch Pro controller.
Oculus controllers are expensive because of the features they have and the costs of producing such features, the design of the controller, the limited production scale of the controllers, and the fact that you can’t pair older controllers with new headsets.
Let’s look at these factors in more detail.
1. High-Accuracy Motion Sensor
One of the reasons Oculus controllers are expensive is that they use high-accuracy motion sensors.
In the past, you had to raise the controller to eye level to sync with the headset.
The new Oculus controllers don’t require that anymore.
You could wear the controllers on your feet and still be able to control your character on the screen.
This new engineering is something that makes the controllers more expensive.
Since the technology is more expensive to engineer, the controllers are going to be more expensive, too.
Meta is also always looking to make its motion sensing more intuitive.
Since it’s pouring more money into its research and development teams, it needs to make money to cover those costs.
That results in higher prices on its controllers.
Oculus controllers are expensive because their motion sensing is expensive to produce.
2. Controllers Rarely Die At The Same Time
You’ll often find that one of your Oculus controllers will die before the other one dies.
They rarely die at the same time.
Since you need both controllers to play on your Oculus, you have to buy one.
This usually means you’re not going to buy both controllers at the same time.
As such, you can’t take advantage of any sort of bulk deal that Meta might offer.
Because the cost is so prohibitive, it typically makes sense to buy just one.
However, with time, your other controller might die, too.
Once more, you probably don’t want to buy the two-controller package.
You just want the one that you’re missing.
As such, you might miss out again on any deals by just buying the single controller over a bulk package.
That makes the controllers expensive because the pricing tends to push you into buying one controller versus both controllers at a time.
The already high cost can also lead you toward buying a new headset while you’re at it.
You may decide that buying a whole new set-up is worth the investment since a single controller can be pretty expensive.
That can make the controllers quite expensive since you’re also buying a new headset each time a controller dies.
If your controllers die often, then you’ll spend a lot of money on VR headsets.
Oculus controllers are expensive because they rarely die at the same time which leads you to buy one at a time rather than buying both controllers in a packaged deal.
3. Haptic Technology Costs
One of the exciting features that Oculus controllers provide is haptics.
Haptics refers to touch.
In the case of Oculus controllers, it means that certain interactions you have in the game can make your controller react accordingly.
This reaction is usually a vibration or pulse that you feel in your hands.
It helps immerse the player even more in the game.
Players are, in a way, feeling what the character on the screen is feeling.
The problem with haptic technology is that it isn’t cheap to develop.
Meta wants to immerse its players as much as possible.
As such, it invests a good amount of money into its haptic technology.
That sort of investment means the company needs to cover its costs, too.
That results in a high price.
Players pay a good amount of money for a more immersive experience through the controllers.
Oculus controllers are expensive because of their use of high-quality haptic technology.
4. Ergonomic Design
Meta has also gone through a few different designs with its Oculus controllers.
Its goal is to create a controller that makes playing games easy without detracting from the experience.
Playing games with a standard Xbox or PlayStation controller, for example, doesn’t make you feel like you’re part of the game.
You’re just clicking buttons on a controller.
Oculus controllers make pushing buttons a bit more intuitive.
The goal is to keep the controllers from being a reason that you’re unable to immerse yourself in the game.
To pull that off, Meta focuses on producing controllers with an ergonomic design.
“Ergonomics” is a term often used in the workplace.
It describes the choices, policies, and processes used to make someone more efficient at work.
That means having the right equipment and tools that let them work more efficiently while reducing pain or discomfort.
It often refers to chairs, desks, mouses, and tools.
In the gaming world, ergonomics essentially means that the controller fits into your hand in such a way that it reduces discomfort.
Holding your hands, or wrists, in a particular position for a long time can make them sore and stiff.
It can detract from your experience.
Meta, in an effort to reduce that discomfort, made its Oculus controllers with an ergonomic design.
That adds value to the controllers for some people.
It also means the company likely spent a good amount of time designing the controllers.
Oculus controllers are expensive because they have an ergonomic design.
5. Cannot Pair Old Controllers With Quest 2 Headset
One of the problems some Oculus users have experienced is that they are unable to use their old controllers with the new Quest 2 headset.
The controllers are incompatible.
This forced anyone who wanted to buy the new Quest 2 headset to buy the new controllers as well.
This makes Oculus controllers expensive because it means players are unable to rely on their older controllers if they want to use the new headset.
Since Meta has already done this once, there’s a chance that the company might do so again.
The next time they develop a brand-new headset (Quest 3, for example), they might also make it so that old controllers are incompatible with the new headset.
Gamers are going to have to buy new controllers all over again.
There isn’t any other option.
Oculus controllers are expensive because Meta sometimes forces you to buy new ones when it releases new hardware.
6. No Third-Party Touch Controllers
Using third-party controllers is often a way you can save money.
Third-party controllers usually come from generic brands and don’t cost as much as name-brand controllers.
The problem with Oculus is that there aren’t any third-party Touch controllers.
While VR is growing, it hasn’t quite hit the mainstream as gaming consoles have.
As such, third-party sellers haven’t entered the market just yet.
Meta also keeps its manufacturing secrets close to the vest.
Producing VR controllers isn’t easy just yet.
It might cost a third-party seller more money than Meta, at the moment, to produce its own controller.
As such, the only place where you can buy Oculus Touch controllers is at Meta.
This means that it essentially has a monopoly on Oculus controllers.
The company is able to set whatever price it wants on them because it’s the only company selling the controllers.
Its customers have no choice but to buy their controllers from the company.
It also doesn’t help that there are only so many VR companies in the market.
Each one is making controllers specific to its headset.
They’re not always compatible.
While you can sometimes link a PlayStation or Xbox controller to the headset, you’re missing out on the overall experience.
Until more controller sellers enter the market or more VR companies enter the space, Meta will continue to have a monopoly on its Oculus controllers.
Oculus controllers are expensive because you can’t buy them from third-party sellers.
One of the benefits of buying a Quest headset from Meta is that it comes with a warranty.
Should something happen to your controllers or headset while the warranty is valid, then you can submit a claim to receive a new one or a refund.
Warranties help protect you when you make an expensive purchase.
The problem with warranties is that they can also sometimes make the products more expensive.
For example, if a company has to keep replacing defective products that qualify for the warranty, then it’s losing money.
Those are products that it’s not selling.
The company is basically giving them away for free.
Or, in the case of a refund, that’s money that it’s losing because it’s giving the money back to the customer.
That can become an expensive loss to the company if it experiences an uptick in defective product returns.
To ensure it can survive, some companies will charge high prices for products to create a financial cushion.
This is sort of a “rainy day fund” companies can draw from to avoid losing too much money from warranties and such.
Warranties can be great protection for customers, but they can also be reasons why products are a bit more expensive in the first place.
Oculus controllers are expensive because they’re covered by a warranty.
8. Limited Production
VR isn’t mainstream quite yet.
The current expensive prices of headsets and accessories are one of the reasons.
Because Meta isn’t selling as many Quest headsets as it might like, it has to be mindful of its production scale.
It can’t produce a lot of Quest headsets and Oculus controllers because the demand isn’t quite there yet.
However, this makes it more expensive to buy replacement controllers.
Since the production scale is limited, it means that supply is low regardless of demand.
This allows Meta to put an expensive price on its controllers.
Oculus controllers are expensive because only so many are produced each year.
9. Battery Costs
Oculus controllers rely on batteries to stay powered.
When the battery dies, you’re no longer able to use them.
This means that buying Oculus controllers isn’t the only expensive part of them.
You also have to spend money on batteries to keep them operational.
While you can save money on using rechargeable batteries, those will eventually lose their charge, too.
Either way, you’re going to have to continue to spend money on your Oculus controllers even after their initial purchase.
Oculus controllers are expensive because you have to buy batteries for them.
10. Quality Materials
Meta focuses on using high-quality materials to make its Oculus controllers.
The company is aware that the controllers are likely going to experience their share of abuse due to the nature of their use.
Button-mashing, exuberant swinging, and other body motions might result in collisions.
To ensure the controllers last as long as possible, the company uses high-quality plastic and other materials in manufacturing.
Everything from the shell to the motor used in the haptic technology relies on high-quality materials.
Since the materials are high-quality, they tend to be a bit more expensive to source.
That expense is passed down to the consumer.
Oculus controllers are expensive because they are made of high-quality materials.