36 Finally! Oculus Rift to hit shelves early 2016

Gamers and technology fans around the world are currently trying to work out where to put their money, as Oculus announces that the Rift VR headset is finally seeing a public launch in Q1 2016. You’ll need to sit tight for just a little longer – pre-orders are opening up later this year.

The Oculus Rift VR Headset

A first look at what the world can expect in Q1 2016

Virtual reality is going to transform gaming, film, entertainment, communication, and much more.

This has been in the works for nearly three years now, popping up first as a Kickstarter project in 2012 and quickly becoming one of the hottest properties in tech, snapped up by Facebook for $2 billion in 2014. Until now though, the Rift headset has only been available as a developer kit, for those willing to work with the hardware.

Now, that’s all about to change.

Since the earliest days of the Oculus Kickstarter, the Rift has been shaped by gamers, backers, developers, and enthusiasts around the world.

We’re promised “compelling content, a full ecosystem, and a fully-integrated hardware/software tech stack designed specifically for virtual reality”. Remember, the team behind the headset isn’t just engineers and developers, but they’re gamers as well, working passionately to reimagine what gaming – and consumer virtual reality – can be.

A peek inside the Oculus Rift

A peek inside the Oculus Rift

If you’ve been paying attention to the early builds, you’ll be familiar with the Crescent Bay prototype, the third official headset design. Basically: A Full HD screen resolution of (at least) 1920×1080, a lighter-weight headset, and onboard audio with the option of bringing your own headset to the party.

That’s pretty much the model that will be coming to market, promising superior presence, immersion and comfort – but there’s already been improvements to the tracking system (so it will work better whether you’re sitting or standing), and the design’s been refined, providing better ergonomics for “a more natural fit”.

We should expect further, more concrete specifics (including tech specs) about hardware, software and input in the coming weeks, as well as details on the made-for-VR games and experiences set to ship alongside the Rift – and Oculus is already dangling a tasty carrot just a month out of reach: “E3 is just around the corner,” says a press statement, hinting at big things yet to come.

Player Attack will, of course, be at E3, and will be spending time with the Rift – so stay tuned for further updates here in June!

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