Oculus Rift, the much-awaited virtual reality head-mounted display (HMD) from the Facebook-owned tech company, has started shipping to early birds who had pre-ordered the device when bookings opened last January. This was announced on Twitter today by Mr. Brendan Iribe, who happens to be the CEO of the California-based tech startup. While this is certainly good news for those who were able to pre-order the headset earlier this year, those who missed out back then will have to wait until July this year, when it's expected to go on sale. As a quick recap, the Oculus Rift had gone on pre-order at $599 a pop back in early January, after facing multiple delays and postponements along the way.
The price-tag makes the Oculus Rift the second-most expensive VR headset after the HTC Vive, which went on pre-order last month. While the Vive has been priced at $799 making it the most expensive VR product announced by a mainstream OEM, the PlayStation VR from Sony, which recently went on pre-order, is by far the least expensive of the lot with a price of just $399 for the core bundle and $499 for the enhanced launch bundle that includes 2 motion controllers and other assorted accessories. As for the Oculus Rift, the device won't come with touch controllers, but the packages containing the headset will start making their way through to their rightful owners from the 28th of this month according to Mr. Iribe, so it shouldn't be long before we start getting an idea about the pros and cons of the device.
VR has created quite a lot of buzz in recent times, and many industry insiders believe that current and upcoming virtual and augmented reality products from companies like Oculus, HTC, Sony, Google and Microsoft will be some of the most sought-after products in the consumer electronics sector in the next few years. Whether or not that optimism pays off remains to be seen, but the slew of product launches over the past several months have certainly earned the attention of tech enthusiasts worldwide, and stakeholders will be hoping that their products will be able to cross over into the mainstream like smartphones rather than go the way of smartwatches that have continued to cater to a niche audience for the most part, having failed to attract enough mainstream attention as yet.