Oculus Rift Announces Consumer Version Release for Early 2016

If you’re a virtual reality enthusiast, you are surely familiar with the Oculus Rift. In spite of not having an available consumer version on the market, the popular VR headset is often a reference in a lot of gaming scenarios. Their development kit versions have been slowly shaped and improved by backers, gamers and developers since the early stages of their Kickstarter campaign, almost three years ago.

Oculus VR has finally announced the release of the consumer version of the Rift, which is now expected to be available in the first quarter of 2016. The company will be taking pre-orders later this year — which would probably be advisable to book, since the demand and anticipation for the Rift keeps growing.

The last prototype available for developers was the Development Kit 2 (known to most people as DK2), which was released last summer for $350, and featured higher resolution and refresh rate, better head and positional tracking and no need for an external control box. The consumer version will include upgrades in all the same areas, plus headphones with HRTF audio, allowing sounds to be better located within a three-dimensional space.

The company has said that both seated and standing experiences will be supported by the consumer version, as well as having some updated ergonomics that make it a little more comfortable to wear.

The Rift delivers on the dream of consumer VR with compelling content, a full ecosystem, and a fully-integrated hardware/software tech stack designed specifically for virtual reality,” the Oculus Team announced on Wednesday. “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. Next week, we’ll share more of the technical specifications on the Oculus blog.”

While gaming is the main market for the Rift, the adult and SexTech industry look to profit significantly from the headset, as virtual reality, teledildonics and haptic devices keep expanding the ways we interact.

The expectations are sky high for the Oculus Rift. When their Kickstarter campaign started in August 2012, they raised $2.4 million just by selling kits directly to developers. Last year, Facebook famously bought the company for $2 billion, and some insiders project the virtual reality market to generate up to $30 billion in revenue by 2020.

The new software and more additional details will be revealed at the E3 gaming convention, taking place in Los Angeles from June 16-18.

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