Oculus Rift: Unveiled at E3 press conference; Release date announced


Oculus and Facebook Inc. has finally unveiled the virtual reality immersion headset, the Rift. The head-mounted virtual reality set, which Palmer Luckey started back in 2012, was bought by Facebook Inc. for $2 billion, $1.6 billion in Facebook stock and $400 million in cash, last March 25, 2014. Brendan Iribe, Oculus CEO, announced during a launch event in San Franciso, that the device will be available to the public in the first quarter of 2016. A price tag is yet to be placed on the product. However, the company estimates a $1,500 investment for users. This includes all other PC hardware that's essential to running the VR headset.

Oculus Rift, a.k.a. the Rift, is a headset designed to be strapped all the way around the head, covering the eyes fully. This allows an interrupted immersion into virtual reality in a realistic 3D world. "The magic that sets the Rift apart is immersive stereoscopic 3D rendering, a massive field of view and ultra-low latency head tracking," said Palmer Luckey on a video, as part of Oculus' 2012 launch. During the recent unveiling, Iribe also revealed that the Rift will come with removable headphones to give users more freedom in terms of using an equipment combination that suits them best. Aside from the headset, the addition of a wireless game controller, which was originally designed for Xbox, was also announced. This is in lieu of Facebook and Oculus' partnership with Microsoft as part of the developer's efforts in making sure that their virtual reality hardware can work without problems with the recently announced version of Windows, Windows 10. The said operating system will be out at the end of July 2015.

Apart from the Xbox-based controller, Oculus also unveiled its own controller design, called "Moon." During the Rift's release next year, 2016, Oculus foresees several games to be already available then. This is a result of the company's earlier move of distributing Rift prototypes to software and game developers. The prototypes were given to several developers, including CCP Games and Gunfire Games. Facebook has also manifested its plans of creating a new social media experience through the device.