Recent news has been released from virtual reality firm Oculus VR that they are planning to release a commercial version of their highly anticipated VR headset, the Rift, within the first quarter of 2016.
For those who have not followed the development of the Rift over the past two years, it is a virtual reality headset made by American tech company Oculus, which was initially funded through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter for almost $2.5mil (£1.6mil) in 2013, and was bought by Facebook for $2bn (£1.3bn) in 2014. The device is a helmet with two 960×1080 resolution screens in front of your eyes, giving a 100⁰ 3D image that you can manipulate by moving your head through the use of motion tracking technology that is being developed exclusively for PCs. What this means is you can watch a film, documentary or video game, and get an experience where it seems almost as if you are actually there, and not just watching it on a screen.
The Oculus Rift is not the only virtual reality headset set to reach shelves within the near future, as rival technology firms HTC and Sony have both announced products to be released in either Q4 2015 or Q1 2016. HTC’s Vive, like the Rift, will be exclusive to PCs, but will be releasing near the end of this year, and already has partnered with video game development company Valve, creator of the Half Life and Portal franchises, as well as owning the largest video game digital distribution service Steam. Sony’s Morpheus is in development for their own PlayStation 4 console, and is due for to be available for purchase in the same timeframe as the Rift, and offering similar features.
Whilst all three companies are keeping their cards close to their chest in regards to details of each of their products such as when exactly their products will hit the shelves, or at what price, some answers may be revealed in the upcoming E3 video games expo in June. It is also expected that more information on software that’ll be made available for all of these devices on launch will be announced at the event as well. Watch this space!