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It’s been a long time coming, but it looks like we’re finally getting closer to pinning down an actual release date for the Oculus Rift. According to the developers, we should expect to step into a bold new world of virtual gaming in Q1 2016.
We first caught wind of the Oculus Rift headset back in 2012, beginning as little more than a promise to offer that VR gaming that was so popular in Sci-Fi stories through the ‘90s. All previous attempts had fallen way shy of the mark, so the gaming community can be easily forgiven for rolling its collective eyes at the idea.
We’ve come to view the potential for VR gaming quite differently these three years later, though, as Oculus games have proven they are actually up to snuff. Its tricky technology to iron kinks out of, though, so it’s taken a bit longer than expected to finally hit the world stage as a consumer-ready product. Last estimates had the Rift pegged for launch “sometime in 2015.” Now the team at Oculus HQ have done away with much of the speculation, today announcing Q1 2016 as the launch window for the new piece of equipment.
According to the announcement, we’ve got a little under a year to wait for the Rift to be home-ready, with pre-orders kicking off sometime later this year.
“The Rift delivers on the dream of consumer VR with compelling content, a full ecosystem, and a fully-integrated hardware/software tech stack designed specifically for virtual reality,” reads the announcement. “It’s a system designed by a team of extremely passionate gamers, developers and engineers to reimagine what gaming can be.”
Folks became worried last year when it was announced that Facebook had actually swooped in and purchased studio making the Rift a reality. At this point, though, it seems like the mega-corp is sticking to its word of staying out of the way, letting the team make the device they originally intended, with a focus on gaming.
The announcement goes on to state that, in the coming weeks, hardware, software, input and the like will become the topic of discussion as more details about the launch unit are revealed. The announcement ends with a plug for E3, saying the upcoming games convention is “only the beginning.” I’m sure plenty of games will be available for a look-see on the show floor, but now I’m curious if Oculus will maybe headline that brand new PC press conference we found out about last week, too.
As for the other big contender in the VR world, Sony is currently remaining mum about its own headset, the Morpheus. If that particular piece of hardware is due out anytime in the next year, we’d expect to hear something at E3 from the PlayStation camp, too.