Oculus Rift launch: First VR headsets delivered to customers

Almost four years after the Oculus Rift Kickstarter campaign began, the first consumer headsets are arriving on customers' doorsteps

A man uses the Oculus Rift at CES 2016 in Las Vegas
A man uses the Oculus Rift at CES 2016 in Las Vegas

The very first Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headsets are being delivered to customers, almost four years after the VR revolution began with the Rift's Kickstarter campaign.

According to Palmer Luckey, inventor of the device and founder of OculusVR, the fortunate few who backed the Rift during its crowdfunding campaign in 2012 will start receiving their headsets on Easter Monday.

Meanwhile, customers who have pre-ordered Rifts will receive them by the end of the week, after they start shipping on Wednesday. It's not quite clear whether these dates apply worldwide or just in the US, but we've contacted Oculus to find out.

The first set of Rifts has sold out - anyone who missed the boat will have to wait until July to get their hands on one.

To mark the occasion, Luckey personally delivered the very first consumer version of the Rift to Ross Martin, a software developer from Alaska. Naturally, Luckey wore his trademark hawaiian shirt and flip-flops even in the sub-zero temperatures.

2016 is going to be a big year for VR technology. HTC is set to ship their Vive headset in May, and PlayStation is launching their PS4-compatible PlayStation VR headset at the end of the year. Meanwhile, Samsung is going big with their Gear VR headset, a less expensive device which uses a smartphone as its screen, and rumour has it that Google and Apple are beefing up their VR operations to make sure they get a slice of the ever-expanding market.

The Rift costs $599 (£422), and comes with an Xbox One controller and a couple of bundled games. HTC may have the upper hand at the minute, since their product ships with two motion controllers included, which make the whole experience even more immersive. However, Oculus is working on their own similar controllers, so the gap between the two should close by the end of this year.

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