Customers interested in experiencing virtual reality with their gaming PC finally have a timetable for the release of Oculus Rift.
The Facebook-owned VR headset is scheduled for release on March 28th 2016, retailing for $599. The announcement was made at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas from January 6-9th.
In development since late 2012, the early models were available to software developers looking to create software and other applications for the device. The device was largely crowdsourced by a Kickstarter campaign. The purpose of these early development kits (called DK1) was to offer developers a prototype model that gave them time to integrate the technology with their software. Initial models were priced at $300.
Oculus Rift uses dual high resolution screens mounted on the inside of a headset. Each screen has a refresh rate of 90 Hz, eliminating motion blurring that is present in other standard monitors. It uses external infrared sensors to track head position, accurate to the millimeter. The headset is equipped with an integrated audio system, producing a surround sound-like experience for the user.
Oculus Rift is a demanding piece of technology. An accompanying PC with sufficient processing power is expected to run close to $1000. Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe announced that a package deal containing a PC with the device is in the future of Oculus. The pre-order release for the package is expected to be announced in February.
An XBOX One controller can be used in conjunction with Oculus. A future partnership between the VR company and Microsoft indicates that the gadget will be incorporated with select XBOX titles.
Part of the tech demo included a virtual reality ride up a 325 foot tall elevator to the top of a rocket eventually destined for Mars. Working from technical specifications from NASA’s Space Launch System, demo simulates take-off in the most powerful rocket made to date.
CES is a technology and trade show, where the tech industry shows off their newest gadgets. CES 2017 is scheduled for January 5-8th 2017. Read more about CES here.