The biggest question in the virtual reality (VR) industry at this point in time is ‘when will the consumer Oculus Rift ship’? What many consider to be the original head-mounted display (HMD) has been a long time coming, with pressure recently put on it by the likes of Valve and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) announcing holiday 2015 and Q1/Q2 2016 release windows for the HTC Vive and Project Morpheus HMDs respectively. It now appears that Oculus VR has revealed just when it will be shipping its anticipated kit.
Oculus VR has announced a Q1 2016 shipping window for the Oculus Rift, with pre-orders opening ‘later this year’. The kit will be based upon the most recent prototype for the device, Crescent Bay. “The Oculus Rift builds on the presence, immersion, and comfort of the Crescent Bay prototype with an improved tracking system that supports both seated and standing experiences, as well as updated ergonomics for a more natural fit, and a highly refined industrial design,” the company said in a statement. A more specific release date is yet to be revealed.
Crescent Bay includes full 360 degree positional tracking, integrated audio and a two screen system, which is the first time the Oculus Rift has used the setup. It’s not clear just what tweaks and changes to the kit will be made in time for launch, including if Oculus VR might have an answer to Room-Scale user tracking that is set to be provided by Valve’s HTC Vive, which will be launching before the Oculus Rift. With plenty of industry events still left to take place in 2015, including E3, Gamescom and the unconfirmed return of the Oculus Connect developer conference, there’s still plenty of time for these details to be revealed.
VRFocus will continue to follow the consumer Oculus Rift closely, reporting back with any further updates on its progress.
UPDATE: MORE ON OCULUS CONSUMER RELEASE
– First Images of Consumer Oculus Rift Revealed
– Oculus VR Teases E3: ‘this is only the beginning’.
– Oculus Reveals Rift Design Improvements For Consumer Version
– VR input is Palmer Luckey’s ‘pet project’ at Oculus
– Oculus VR’s Luckey Explains Unexpected Rift Consumer Release Announcement
– Mitchell: Rift Pre-Orders ‘probably’ on Oculus.com but Retail ‘really important’
– Oculus VR Strongly Hints That Input Solution will be Included with CV1
– Oculus Rift Could Come to Xbox One or PS4, Company Suggests
– Oculus Rift to be a ‘little bit more expensive’ than Gear VR
– Luckey: Oculus Rift’s Mic ‘Hidden in the best place’
– Developers React to Oculus Rift Release Date
– Carmack: Oculus Rift DK2 ‘Supplies are Limited’