Oculus finally nail down a date for the release of the VR hardware but you’ll have to wait a little longer.
The Rift has paved the way for VR with its two development versions, and while the DK2 is by no mean perfect, it has at least demonstrated what is possible with VR on PC. The consumer version for the Oculus Rift was expected some time later this year and today’s announcement of a Q1 2016 date is pretty close to what we expected.
According to Oculus, they will reveal more about the consumer version’s specs in the weeks ahead including details on the hardware, software, input, and unannounced games for the consumer version. Next week they plan on revealing the hardware specs so keep an eye out for that.
It’s also worth noting they mention “input” in today’s announcement and it will be interesting to see what they’ve come up with. Currently you can utilise numerous third-party control devices but that’s obviously not ideal.
Having used the DK2 for some time, we can only hope that the consumer version will be a vast improvement because at the moment there are issues with the resolution and comfort. Since the release of the DK2 Oculus has demonstrated their Crescent Bay design but how close the consumer version matches that remains to be seen.
With Valve and HTC now committed to the VR market with their recently revealed Vive hardware, the race to provide the ultimate VR experience is now on. Valve could have a slight edge over the Rift because they’re hoping to get their device out the door later this year but gamers are a savvy bunch and they’ll likely opt for whichever device is the most technically advanced for a reasonable price.
The big issue with any new VR hardware is how it tackles real human problems such as motion sickness which is a serious problem with any VR setup. The DK2 manages to alleviate motion sickness slightly with the mounted tracking device which tracks leaning forwards and backwards but it’s still a problem.
Our advice to anyone thinking about joining the VR party is to hold off as long as possible before jumping in with any of the devices. It could be an expensive mistake and there’s quite a few to choose from now such as the Totem, Oculus Rift, Vive and the Razer OSVR.
There are no final pricing details for the consumer version of the Rift but Oculus state that pre-orders will will be going live later this year. We would expect it to be released in the $300-$400 range.
What will the consumer version look like? Oculus released a couple of teaser images.