It’s hard to remember a time that virtual reality (VR) specialist and maker of the Oculus Rift, Oculus VR, was running on crowd-funding. The company was of course purchased by Facebook for some $2 billion USD all the way back in 2014, but before that it was relying on investments and the $2,437,429 USD it raised via the now historical Kickstarter campaign that ran in 2012. Oculus VR has come a long way since those early days, with the first consumer edition of the device set to go on pre-order on 6th January 2016. But creator Palmer Luckey and co haven’t forgotten those that helped them get here. In fact, they’ve got a big surprise for those fans today.
Oculus VR will be giving anyone that pledged enough to secure the first development kit (DK1) in that Kickstarter campaign a free Oculus Rift. That much was confirmed in a new letter and video (seen below) sent out to backers today, thanking them for their support all those years ago. Backers will be able to fill out a survey from Kickstarter before 1st February 2016, providing a shipping address for one of the 20 countries that the device will launch in. Later on in this quarter of the year, they’ll receive a Kickstarter edition of the device for no cost.
By VRFocus’ count, that’s 6,955 people getting a free Oculus Rift.
“You were there at the beginning of our journey — we couldn’t have done it without you,” reads the letter, signed off by Oculus founder including Luckey, CEO Brendan Iribe, VP of Product Nate Mitchell and CTO Michael Abrash. “Today marks a new chapter.” Backer tiers for the DK1 started at $275 for an unassembled kit, with the full article starting at $300. The price for the consumer Oculus Rift hasn’t yet been revealed, but it’s fair to assume that this will be a big saving for fans even without considering the DK1 that they got three years ago.
Everyone that gets a free Oculus Rift will also be getting their hands on EVE: Valkyrie from CCP Games and Lucky’s Tale from Playful, just as those that pre-order the kit as per usual will.
As for everyone else, Oculus Rift pre-orders are still on track to open at 08:00 PST tomorrow. VRFocus will continue to bring the latest updates on the campaign as they developer.