The high-anticipated Oculus Rift VR headset finally has a launch window after months testing and numerous prototypes. In a post published on the Oculus Blog, the Oculus Rift team announced its first consumer virtual-reality headset would be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2016. Pre-orders for the headset will begin later this year. A few photos of the new headset design were posted on the website along with the announcement.
The company says that the released headset will be based on the latest prototype of the device, dubbed Crescent Bay. The new design has been modified to include a better tracking system with improved ergonomics that can be used for both seated and standing experiences. The Crescent Bay prototype has 360-degree positional tracking cameras on the headset and built-in headphones for complete immersion in the experience. Many of the specific details on the headset, including display resolution and price, have not yet been released but more details should be forthcoming in the coming weeks.
The launch of the Oculus Rift VR headset has been a long time coming. The long delay in releasing the headset since it was first revealed to the world as a Kickstarter project has given other major companies time to catch up. Samsung released its Galaxy-powered Gear VR headset late in 2014, and Sony’s working on its Project Morpheus headset. However, the Oculus product proved so promising that the company was purchased by Facebook for $2 billion.
The company says in the blog post that announcements regarding upcoming VR games and experiences, hardware specs for the headset, input devices for the system will be released over the next few weeks. Oculus Rift was designed with games as a core component, but a statement from Oculus describes additional uses, such as in film, entertainment and communication.
The company has been preparing to make the Oculus Rift VR headset launch as much of a full-fledged experience as possible, instead of simply releasing pricey new piece of gaming hardware. The company expects an enthusiastic reception from consumers when the device is finally released.