There’s one very big question facing the virtual reality (VR) community at the start of 2015; when is the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) coming out? In the final quarter of 2014 Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe has gone on record stating that the release is still ‘months’ away, providing a vague but promising clue for the community to speculate with. This week Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey has provided an even bigger hint that may significantly narrow down the release time frame, though it may still be a little further down the line than some had hoped.
A recent feature in The Telegraph notes that Luckey has ‘estimated’ a winter 2015 release for the first consumer version (CV1) of the Oculus Rift, suggesting perhaps a November or December launch. This is perhaps the most logical window given that there’s still a lot of new information to share about CV1 before it launches. Although Oculus VR revealed the new prototype dubbed Cresecent Bay back in September 2014, the company expects to improve upon even that model before release. Crescent Bay includes integrated audio, full 360 degree positional tracking and an OLED display with an unspecified resolution that’s said to beat the 1080p screen on the second development kit (DK2).
It will also be interesting to see just how consumer-facing this launch is. How will Oculus VR handle distribution? Will there be the same ‘Innovator’s Edition’ branding as seen with Gear VR, the company’s other HMD made in partnership with Samsung? How much will the device cost? There are plenty of questions that will need to be answered in the run up to launch; hopefully events such as the Game Developers Conference (GDC), E3 and Oculus VR’s own Oculus Connect, which is yet to be confirmed to return in 2015, will provide the much-needed details.
VRFocus will continue to follow Oculus VR’s work with the Oculus Rift closely, reporting back with any further updates.
Update 2: Palmer Luckey has made a statement on Reddit regarding the winter 2015 suggestion. It reads: “We never gave them any information on a release date. We checked to see where they got the winter 2015 date, they apologized and said they can’t recall where they got that idea.”
Update: The Telegraph has updated its article to remove any mention of the winter 2015 launch for Oculus Rift, now citing that it is ‘still a little way off its consumer release,’