With the HTC Vive virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) now confirmed for a launch in 2015, pressure is on for Oculus Rift HMD creator Oculus VR to announce a launch date for its own kit. Most recently Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey seemed to suggest that the company wouldn’t be launching its kit until 2016. But today at the F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco, California, parent company Facebook once again suggested that the Oculus Rift might indeed be launching in 2015.
Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer suggested as much during his keynote speech this morning. Talking about the role that the Oculus Rift might play in the future, the CTO showed the same video of upcoming VR multiplayer experience EVE: Valkyrie that was first seen at last week’s EVE Fanfest event. Once the video has finished, Schroepfer noted: “You’re going to be doing this this year.”
Schroepfer went on to talk about the Crescent Bay prototype version of the Oculus Rift, noting that it is ‘just on the cusp’ on delivering a true feeling of presence and being consumer-ready. The Facebook employee didn’t elaborate on the tease of the release, but did go on to talk about how VR will be integral to Facebook in the future, allowing users to experience memories with others and more.
Oculus VR is yet to detail the consumer version of the Oculus Rift. Of course, the company will be releasing its first truly consumer product soon in the form of a new version of the Gear VR smartphone-based HMD. Speaking at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) earlier this month, Oculus VR’s John Carmack confirmed that the company would be going ‘full consumer’ with the next version of the kit, which is expected to be revealed later this year. VRFocus will continue to follow the Oculus Rift and Gear VR closely, reporting back with any further updates on the device.
Update: Schroepfer has taken to Twitter to clarify that he was not referring to the Oculus Rift in his remarks at the keynote: “did not announce anything regarding shipping just said pc hardware available this year can create these experiences,” he said.