It was already looking likely that the consumer-ready version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset wouldn’t launch this year, but now it’s confirmed as VP of product Nate Mitchell tweeted this message out saying that it will ship in early 2016.
Extremely excited to announce that the Oculus Rift will be shipping Q1 2016! We can't wait to get it in your hands. pic.twitter.com/TVquKTQJjx
— Nate Mitchell (@natemitchell) May 6, 2015
The VR headset has been available to buy for a while already, but Oculus has pitched the existing version to developers to “hack” and test potential products with (even calling it a development kit). A full commercial launch of the Oculus Rift was widely expected to happen some time in 2015.
Despite some confusion earlier this year that seemingly suggested that Oculus had definitely confirmed a launch this year, it quickly became clear that the comment had been taken out of context.
Oculus says it will shortly start revealing full technical specifications of the hardware, software, and “many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences,” in a blog post.
A number of players are emerging in the burgeoning virtual reality space, including Samsung with its Gear VR headset. It doesn’t have a dedicated screen like the Oculus Rift, though, and relies on a user to slip their phone inside the front of the head-worn unit.
Oculus Rift first rose to prominence off the back of a Kickstarter campaign that crowdfunded more than $2 million to help build the immersive VR headset. In March last year, Facebook acquired the company behind the headset in a surprise $2 billion deal.