Good news for the Oculus Rift fans, the Facebook owned company finally approved the pre-orders of their new VR gear on the first quarter of 2016. The pre-selling started last on January 6th. The product includes for the moment an Xbox one controller, but will featture the new Oculus Touch control system starting with the second part of 2016. The Rift supports the latest windows operating system and bundles with 2 hit games: Lucky’s Tale and EYE: Valkyrie. However, there are a lot more to come.
Many techies were happy when Oculus made its official statement marking the release date of the most awaited Oculus Rift consumer version. The pre-orders initiated this month will be shipped starting with March (however, if you order today, you might get in in June). You can process your Oculus Rift pre-order here (unfortunately, at the moment there’s a limitation of 1 Rift per customer).
The release date of the consumer version was already predicted when Oculus decided to sell their developer kit headset last year. Finally, the wait is over! We can get our hands on this awesome Virtual Reality headset.
Official statement from Oculus says that the consumer version is redesigned and re-calibrated. The new model focuses mainly on the users’ comfort, extended controls, a much more sophisticated tracking system that can differentiate whether the user is sitting or standing and much more. The previous design was changed, creating a new concept that embodies modern industry design and comfort. At the moment, Oculus may be seen as an unstoppable force, a recognized contributor that revolutionizes the multimedia and gaming industry. However, Sony and HTC will soon be catching up.
The quest for EU Market
As of January 2016, the consumer pre-order basis bubbled. A developer kit costs you for around $500 on Ebay.
The new consumer version will cost you roughly $599, the shipping fees and value added tax is not included in the price. If the tax and shipping fee kicks in, expect a higher price depending on your location.
In an older interview, Oculus’ CEO, Mr. Palmer Luckey, was implying that the awaited consumer version will exceed the previous pricing of the Rift’s developer kit, with roughly $350 more. He also added that the consumer version will be reconfigured with additional features, they will add additional technology that wasn’t implemented on its DK 1 and DK 2 versions. Adding more features to maximize the user experience and assuring its quality will certainly require more of the company’s investment. As the company invests to further improve the VR gear, our thought is that they don’t really want to compromise on the quality by selling a cheaper product.
The importance of Oculus Touch
The newly bind partnership between Windows and Oculus created the possibility of including an Xbox One wireless controller. This boosts the capability of Oculus Rift, but we really see it as mutual benefit. It’s a great market opportunity for both companies, because all of Oculus Rift’s consumers will be complimented with a wireless Xbox One controller.
However, the development of Oculus Rift is not finished, because the upcoming Oculus Touch is not yet completed. Oculus is planning to have their own touch-powered controller. The development of this piece is code-named “half-moon”. This part is a wireless controller which can track your hands movement. The controllers also have an analogue stick, a trigger and 2 extra buttons. According to official sources, the controller has matrix sensors and can provide haptic feedback. It can easily identify movements such as thumbs up, waving and when you are pointing into something.
We expect this controller to be ready by 2016 H2, and also can’t help to dream for a partnership between Oculus and Leap Motion, which would really empower both products.
Windows 10 ready
Another good news is that the recent partnership between Windows and Oculus not only opened the door for using infrastructure, buy also paved the road for cross platform functionality. You can access windows games on the Oculus Rift menu, and playing your favorite windows game on the Oculus will be pretty much possible if the game is VR compatible.
Game titles that we can expect with the new Oculus Rift
Oculus announced that there will be a lot of games available for the new Rift. They also announced that they are willing to invest $10M dollars to help game developers create games for their system.
The hit game titles that are most expected: EVE: Valkyrie, Damage Core, VR Sport Challenge, Air Mech VR, Lucky’s Tale, Chronos and Edge of Nowhere.
Oculus Rift’s hardware specification
The new Rift version will be equipped with customized optic lenses and display. The headset will be installed with two OLED screens that has a combined resolution of 2160×1200 and assures low latency. Visible pixels and blur effects won’t be experienced with this VR headset. The headset also has a constellation tracking system which will maximize the VR experience. It has an integrated VR audio for optimal VR sound experience. The good thing about this Rift is the compatibility with other audio headsets: you can use a personal headset if you prefer changing the stock headset. The interior of the Rift is fabric-coated and lighter than its predecessors. If you have sight issues, you can simply adjust the lenses to correct your VR view.
To use this piece of equipment, you’ll need at least 8Gb RAM and a powerful video board such as NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 or higher.
The Oculus home VR portal has all essentials, from images and videos to full games. On the home screen, you can see previously played apps, social data and so on. There’s also a 2D version of Oculus home screen for your PC, where you can manage your games.
Are you excited and ready for this splendid VR headset?