We already knew 2016 would be a big year for VR — with news from Oculus, it begins.
This morning Oculus began taking pre-orders for their Rift VR headset. Today, further details were confirmed via an Oculus blog post: we now know that the Rift will cost $599, with shipping commencing March 28th to twenty countries.
(Background: On the Arrival of Oculus Rift)
The news means that Oculus have kept to their timeline with regards to announcement made mid-2015 that the Rift would ship in the first quarter of 2016.
The Rift will be packaged with an Xbox One controller, an external tracking camera, and a newly announced Oculus Remote — all in a carry-case.
Of course, if you’re interested in getting a Rift, you’d better be sure your computer is up to spec…the Rift carries some pretty serious processing and graphics requirements — an unavoidable aspect to VR that’s sure to stifle its going mainstream for some time. The Verge covered the topic in detail here, based off of Oculus’ own post on recommended specs.
If you’re keen to jump right in though — and have the money for it — Oculus have partnered up with several firms to offer ‘Oculus Ready PCs‘.
There was, however, bad news from Oculus at the very end of last year, when they announced that their Touch handheld motion controllers won’t be shipping with the Rift, as was expected. The controllers will be delayed until at least the second half of the year. It’s unknown how the controllers will be priced. In a blog post, Oculus stated:
On the path to perfecting Touch, we’ve decided that we need more time before release, and we’ll now be shipping Touch in the second half of 2016. Pre-orders will open a few months prior to launch.
The Oculus Remote is presented as an input device for ‘simple and intuitive’ navigation of VR experiences. It’ll work with ‘a wide range of VR games’, as well as browsing of the Oculus store, and 360 video content in Oculus Video. Certainly for non-gamers, it’ll also represent a easier way into VR than getting to grips with the Xbox One controller.
Lucky’s Tale will ship together with the Rift, while all pre-orders will include access to EVE: Valkyrie. The shipping announcement noted that over a hundred VR games will be available by the end of 2016.