Oculus VR has announced today that the consumer version of the much anticipated Oculus Rift is expected to ship out Q1 2016.
Since its debut on Kickstarter late back in 2012, Oculus Rift has been been one of the more innovated pieces of hardware peripherals within the past three years. With very little consumer availability for virtual headsets, Oculus VR has aimed to be one of the first companies to deliver a proper device suitable for gaming. Working prototypes up to this point have left many notable game developers such as John McCarmack (Doom) and Cliff Bleszinski (Gears of War) with really good impressions, with Bleszinski in particular commenting of what he saw of the original prototype as “extremely promising” in the initial Kickstarter video.
After its successful campaign, Oculus was later bought out by Facebook for $400m two years later. In the bid to make the world “more open and connected” Zuckerberg expressed his fondness over the new technology, discussing the potential the platform has for education and medicine. “Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction,” he said during the initial announcement. “But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together.”
With developer kits available to purchase up to this point, the more recent model ‘Crescent Bay’ was announced back in September last year. With the consumer version now set on release, it is said this model version will be an improvement upon the Crescent Model, with aspects such as immersion, comfort and general ergonomics set on a list of improvements. Oculus VR has confirmed that pre-orders for the consumer version will be opening up later this year.
Opinion: Its been a very long journey up to this point for the company Oculus. From Facebook purchasing Oculus VR, to Oculus acquiring the company behind the original Xbox 360 controller/ The wait for this device has been one that has grown on me over time, and the announcement of a consumer release has long been anticipated. With Project Morpheous, Gear VR and even Microsoft’s HoloLens on the horizon, Oculus VR isn’t without competition – but it remains the headset with the highest profile and the most support. If Oculus VR can be first to market, they could herald a new gaming era.