The first virtual reality headset to make waves finally has a full release date. The Oculus Rift headset will be available as a full product at retail during the first quarter of 2016, its maker Oculus VR announced Wednesday morning. After receiving a few rounds of funding, the company was purchased by Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion.
Oculus VR hasn’t released a price or exact release date for the consumer version of the Oculus Rift, only promising it will ship with “compelling content, a full ecosystem, and a fully-integrated hardware/software tech stack designed specifically for virtual reality.”
The Oculus Rift was first revealed as a Kickstarter project in August 2012, raising more than $2.4 million dollars by offering $300 kits directly to developers interested in virtual reality. Creator Palmer Luckey, a few months before, wrote on an online message board: “Really excited about this, I think it could be the kind of thing that jumpstarts a bigger VR community.”
Oculus VR wasn’t the only company exploring virtual reality, but it was the first out the gate with something functional. But since the company’s Kickstarter campaign, others have shown off their own development kits, including Sony’s headset Morpheus, and the HTC Vive — a collaboration between HTC and Valve Software. Both headsets have commercial release dates; Sony’s is the first half of 2016 and the Vive is due out at the end of the year. Read more…