Having sold over 85 thousand of Oculus Rift virtual reality headset prototypes aimed at software developers, Oculus VR is still pretty far away from introduction of commercial versions of the device. The company said at the Facebook’s F8 conference that the consumer version of the Oculus Rift VR gear would hit the market in 2015.
Business Insider reports citing a spokesperson for Oculus VR that the company and its new owner Facebook would be disappointed if the VR headset would not be available at retail for ordinary people before 2016, which points to availability during the holiday season 2015 at the latest. While many enthusiasts who bought developers version of the Oculus Rift would like to buy the commercial flavour of the product already this year, the official launch in 2015 makes a lot of sense.
In a bid to make Oculus Rift a commercial success among gamers (even core gamers) there should be quality games developed with the VR in mind on the market. Development of video games takes a long time these days, those titles that are being built today will only show up sometimes in 2015.
The main issue here is that game publishers are reluctant to invest into development of games for new platforms until that hardware is at the hands of the consumers, who then will buy software. However, gamers will not buy a piece of hardware that is not supported by existing software. As a result, Oculus VR and Facebook should coordinate their efforts with game developers in a bid to release the first commercial version of the Oculus Rift simultaneously with games that were developed for VR headsets.
Keeping in mind that virtual reality titles should be developed differently than currently available games, expect software creators to learn how to make VR games in a right way. The first breed of virtual reality titles will, without any doubts, be very impressive (and certainly more impressive than games developed for monitors which are now experienced in the VR gear). However, eventually, as artists and programmers learn how to build virtual worlds and experiences, the VR games will get much closer to reality than the first wave of titles.
At present neither the launch date, nor the lineup of launch titles, nor the price of the VR headset are known. However, several big developers have confirmed that they are working on titles that will use virtual reality gear. At present Oculus VR is in the process of building a team to work on marketing and branding of the product.
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KitGuru Says: It will be interesting to see how many more devkits Oculus VR will manage to sell to gamers before the commercial version becomes available. The interest towards the VR among the core gamers is so high that it looks like many of them are going to get current-gen Oculus Rift DK2 “Crystal Cove” in order to play select games that have support for it already this year…