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The device that rebooted interest in virtual reality is arriving next year

Pre-orders for the Oculus Rift headset will begin later this year.

A top-down preview of the consumer version of Oculus Rift.
A top-down preview of the consumer version of Oculus Rift.
Image: Oculus

AFTER BEING IN development since 2012, the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift is now a step closer to an official release.

The VR headset will start shipping at the beginning of next year with pre-orders for the device starting later this year. Until then, Oculus will continue selling the developer edition which is aimed at creators instead of consumers.

The team behind it promise that the release will deliver “on the dream of consumer VR with compelling content, a full ecosystem and a fully-integrated hardware/software tech stack designed specifically for virtual reality.” In short, it will have a collection of games and experiences ready for when the device is launched.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift… Virtual reality is going to transform gaming, film, entertainment, communication, and much more.

At TechCrunch Disrupt earlier today, Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell clarified that anyone interested in buying the device would need a PC for it to work, and would likely need a high-end version that could handle gaming.

Oculus Rift began life as a kickstarter project where it raised almost $2.5 million (€2.2 million) in 30 days. The company behind it was later purchased by Facebook for $2 billion in 2014.

The interest around the device has led to other companies developing their own similar devices.

Sony is developing its own VR headset Project Morpheus, which will also launch next year while Samsung teamed up with Oculus to release the Gear VR, which uses the Galaxy Note and S6 to power it.

HTC teamed up with Valve to create its own device, Vive, which is expected to launch later this year.

Microsoft has taken a different path with HoloLens, a headset device which will present holographic-like images in your living room and work environment.

Further details about the Rift will be revealed at the E3 gaming conference in June.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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