Oculus announces Q1 2016 shipping date

(Image courtesy Oculus VR.)

(Image courtesy Oculus VR.)

Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets will begins shipping in the first quarter of 2016, the company announced today.

Pre-orders will begin later this year.

“In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift,” the company said in the announcement. “Next week, we’ll share more of the technical specifications here on the Oculus blog.”

(Image courtesy Oculus VR.)

(Image courtesy Oculus VR.)

The Oculus Rift headset already works with OpenSim, via the CtrlAltStudio viewer.

The headset allows users to feel as though they are inside a virtual world, able to look in all directions. It was made possible due to the recent evolution in display screens and motion sensors spurred by the rapid development in the mobile sector.

However, by blocking the user’s view of the actual world around them, it makes it difficult to use with keyboards and requires new input devices, which are still in the very early development stages. In addition, if in-world motion is out of sync with a user’s actual, physical motion it it can trigger motion sickness.

Although the Oculus Rift was the first virtual reality headset of its type when it had its successful Kickstarter in 2012, and developer kits are already available to order, other headsets have beaten it to the consumer market.

That includes the Gear VR headset, the Durovis Dive, the Vrase, and numerous takes on Google Cardboard.

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Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.