The future is now. The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is going to be released early 2016.
What began as a project on Kickstarter in 2012 is now becoming one of the most anticipated new developments of the gaming industry. A few people have been able to use it throughout its metamorphosis thanks developer kits. So far, there have been two development kits and several prototypes.
The released product is based off the Crescent Bay prototype, making it lighter, smaller, and more comfortable than previous versions. It will come with headphones and positional audio as well. Oculus claims there will be a new tracking system depending on if the user is standing or sitting.
There hasn’t been any mention of the price recently, but the most recent development kit was $350.Previously, the company said that they'd like to stay between the price range of $200 - $400.
The official website features a health and safety document that would be a good idea to look over before purchasing. Other than the usual warnings for children or people who suffer seizures, it mentions warnings to pregnant women, the elderly, people operating machinery and moving vehicles, and the list goes on.
Of all the major virtual reality companies, Oculus is the last of them to announce their release date. Despite that, there is more to the Rift than gaming. Some suggest integrating it into film, journalism, and the medical industry.
However, there is some strong competition. The HTC Vive targets PC gaming, much like the Rift, but it also has Steam VR technology backing it up, giving it a sensor system which allows the player to move in a 15ft radius. Sony is looking to claim the sizable console space with Project Morpheus on the PS4.
What Oculus does have up its sleeve is the fact that they bought the team that developed the Xbox 360 controller in June. Much of their delay is working on a controller. There’s also Doom Creator John Carmack, Jason Holtman of Steam, and Jason Rubin, co-founder of Naughty Dog.
Other than that, not much else is known about the release. However, the company says more information about the hardware, software, input, and games will be discussed in the coming weeks.
Until then, consumers can pre-order the Rift later this year, and keep up to date with the company’s blog.