After many a delay and postponement, commercial versions of the much-awaited VR headset, Oculus Rift, is now available for pre-order on the official website of Oculus VR, the company behind the headset. The device, however, will cost significantly more than the only other commercially available VR headset in the market currently, the Gear VR from Samsung. According to the listing, the Rift sports a price-tag of $599 and will ship from March this year, if all goes according to plan for the Irvine, California-based tech company. The headset can be preordered from 20 countries around the world including, but not limited to, the US, the UK, France, Germany and Japan. Oculus has also announced that the original backers of the device on Kickstarter are eligible for free consumer editions of the virtual reality headset.
Coming to what all will ship as part of the package, the listing page says that alongside the all-important headset itself, the box will come with an Xbox One controller, a remote control, the cables and two free games – a third-person platforming game called Lucky’s Tale from Playful Corp. and a multiplayer dogfighting shooter game called EVE: Valkyrie from Iceland-based CCP Games. Explaining its decision to skip the touch controllers, Oculus said that it needs more time to iron out some of the niggling issues surrounding them. According to the company, “On the path to perfecting Touch, we’ve decided that we need more time before release”. The company also says that it has made “significant advances in ergonomics” and are “implementing many changes that make Touch even more comfortable, reliable, and natural. We’re also implementing changes that improve hand pose recognition”.
While some enthusiasts will lament the fact that the device won’t ship with the touch controllers, most will be looking forward to the launch, now that the device is all set to hit the market within the next couple of months. Once it does start shipping in March this year, the device will become only the second commercially available VR headset in the market after Samsung’s Gear VR, with HTC’s Vive virtual reality headset having been delayed till April this year. Once the Vive is launched by the Taiwanese company, the PlayStation VR from Sony is also expected to see an official launch later this year.