It has been almost four years since the Oculus Rift project was launched, depending on when you start counting. It came to life through Kickstarter in August 2012. The product revived virtual reality and today, Monday March 28, Rift will start shipping. Virtual reality starts now.
Virtual Reality starts now
In 2011, hobby enthusiast Palmer Luckey set out to explore the headsets available on the market but found that none of them lived up to his expectations. So he decided to build his own and shortly thereafter made preparations to do a Kickstarter campaign.
Games legend John Carmack received one of the early prototypes, developed special software to help normalize images seen through the optical lenses, built a VR version of Doom 3 BFG, showcased the prototype at the E3 2012 trade show, and sprinkled some stardust over Oculus. The Kickstarter project became a resounding success and in 2014 Facebook acquired the company for $2 billion dollars. The rest is history.
Even though Oculus Rift has gone through a long string of prototypes - two of which developers could buy - today marks the official sales start. Customers who have pre-ordered Oculus Rift will start receiving headsets today. In addition to the Rift you need a muscle PC.
Palmer Luckey made a trip to Alaska this weekend to hand-deliver the first Oculus Rift headset to a customer named Ross Martin, who had placed the first pre-order in the system.
Oculus Rift is available today for $599 USD / 699 Euro via shop.oculus.com. However, new orders will not be fulfilled until July 2016.