Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift pre-orders open on Wednesday

You can order your own Oculus Rift from Wednesday, January 6
You can order your own Oculus Rift from Wednesday, January 6
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You can order your own Oculus Rift from Wednesday, January 6
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You can order your own Oculus Rift from Wednesday, January 6
The pricing for the headset hasn't yet been revealed
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The pricing for the headset hasn't yet been revealed
You won't get these Touch controllers until later in the year, but two VR games are included with each Rift
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You won't get these Touch controllers until later in the year, but two VR games are included with each Rift

The original Oculus Rift Kickstarter went live in August 2012, and since then it's been a long, long wait for the finished consumer version of the headset to go on sale. That wait is almost over: pre-orders officially start this Wednesday, January 6 at 8am Pacific Time.

Oculus (now owned by Facebook) announced the news in a blog post, though it's pretty light on details: we don't know how much it's going to cost, where in the world it will be available to order, or when the headset is actually going to ship to buyers, other than sometime in Q1. "We'll be sharing everything you need to know to order your Rift on Wednesday when pre-orders go live," promises Oculus.

Even with so little to go on, it's a landmark moment in the next-generation VR movement. Headsets from HTC and Sony are following later this year, so Oculus will be hoping it can gain an advantage by getting out of the door early. There's also Samsung's Gear VR, a lower-cost alternative that uses a smartphone as a display and graphics processor, which is already on sale.

We do know that every pre-ordered Rift will come with two games, Lucky Tale and EVE: Valkyrie. It's also been confirmed that the launch of the proprietary Touch controllers has been pushed back to the second half of 2016, so you're going to have to make do with the bundled Xbox One controller to begin with.

If you're thinking of splashing an unspecified amount of cash on the Rift, you might want to read up on the recommended specs for the VR headset first – the kit will need a pretty powerful Windows PC to go alongside it.

With CES happening this week and Oculus founder Palmer Luckey scheduled to appear on a Reddit AMA on Wednesday, we should be hearing plenty more about the Rift in the days ahead. In the meantime, it's a relief to have a confirmed pre-order date to count down to.

Source: Oculus

4 comments
mhpr262
I wonder why everybody only talks about games when VR is mentioned - movies and pictures ought to be at least as big a market. Games may be bigger than Hollywood by now, but they are not bigger than Hollywood plus the porn industry plus every other filmproducer worldwide plus hobby video filmers plus hobby photographers worldwide put together.
Daishi
@mhpr262 hobby photographers + FPV drones will hopefully be one of the use cases. The FPV goggles that do head tracking are about $500 and that's something that VR goggles could probably do with a cheap adapter. I'm not currently aware of any standard kits that patch this through to a VR headset but it would be a nice product to see this year. I think some manufacturers like Parrot are allowing output to VR headsets but it would be nice to just use VR headsets as a general replacement for Fat Sharks by bolting on a $35 receiver and something to convert the VGA signal to compatible input for the headset. If that happens they could end up being as popular for drones as they are for gaming.
Grunchy
That looks a tiny bit better than the version from 2012 ! I dunno, in my opinion it should either be like a pair of sunglasses or else like a helmet (preferably a helmet given the potential weight and potential wires). I read about Sony's HMZ and the reviews said the display was great except it was super tricky to set up for up/down, left/right, and near/far. I guess the big problem must be the necessity of all this finicky adjustment. In my experience, people aren't all that patient with anything. I'm predicting mass disappointment.
christopher
The Samsung Gear VR *is* an Oculus product; same store an all. The "VR Revolution" has happened time and again over the last 20 years or so; I've got half a dozen obsolete useless headsets already; nothing much has changed, and they're releasing yet-another... I can't imagine how this will ever work whenever everything else failed. Maybe when Magic-Leap come up with augmented reality sunglasses, we might have a chance, but right now, sticking a blob on your face?... it's 5 minutes of "cool", followed by a dusty draw of "meh".