Oculus VR has been on quite a journey in 2014. Cast your mind back to January of this year when the company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) was a much smaller outfit with one of Kickstarter’s biggest success stories on its side. Just nine months on and we’ve been treated to new development kits, high-profile hires, collaborations with Samsung and, of course, an acquisition that totalled some $2 billion USD. You’d be forgiven for thinking that, following the shipment of the second development kit (DK2), Oculus VR would be lying low for the rest of 2014, but in fact one of the company’s biggest events is still to come.
Oculus Connect, Oculus VR’s inaugural developer conference, is set to take place on 19th + 20th September 2014 in Hollywood, California. That’s two days of VR news, presentations, events and networking for enthusiasts and developers to obsess over. But what can we expect to be announced during the conference, bearing in mind that it isn’t strictly consumer-facing? Will Oculus VR make new announcements? Specifically, should we prepare for the reveal of the consumer version of the Oculus Rift?
It’s hard to tell at this point in time. When Oculus Connect was announced back in July 2014 the developer did promise to talk about ‘the latest Oculus hardware’, although this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s something new. The company could well be referring to DK2 and even Samsung’s Gear VR smartphone-based HMD, which is being developed with the help of Oculus VR. Even if it is something unrevealed, it could well be the long-rumoured input solution that the company is working on instead of an HMD.
The company’s vague descriptions and the relatively close proximity to DK2’s shipments does suggest that maybe this isn’t the time for a full blow out of the first consumer Oculus Rift. That said, last week VRFocus reported that the consumer release could start rolling out as early as April 2015 in a beta phase. Should this prove to be the case then the company may just offer something in the way of a comment towards the full release, if not a complete reveal. Don’t forget that next year’s Consumer Electronics Show in January would also be a good venue for making such an announcement with at least a three month window between the news and a release.
But even without details on a consumer launch, Oculus Connect is sure to be the biggest VR event of the year. Across the two days there will be talks from Oculus figureheads such as Palmer Luckey and a range of other companies including I’m In VR, Epic Games, Playful Studios and more. You can still expect to come out of Oculus Connect fully up to date with a wide range of VR videogames and devices. VRFocus will be bringing you all the latest from the event, so make sure to stay right here this weekend.