THE OCULUS RIFT virtual reality (VR) headset is on schedule to see a consumer release early next year, its founder has confirmed.
Oculus began shipping early versions of the final Rift hardware to developers in May, sending out units every week until the planned public launch in 2016 so that developers could "finalise their game or application".
However, inventor and founder of Oculus, 23-year-old Palmer Luckey, took to Twitter on Tuesday to reassure buyers that the firm is on course for the promised launch of Q1 2016 for the Oculus Rift.
"Thrilled to share some news: manufacturing continues to go well, and we are still on target for an awesome Rift launch in Q1," the tweet read.
Luckey also dismissed fears that pre-orders would begin for the Oculus Rift "without warning". A follow-up tweet read: "Pre-orders are coming soon after new year. Enjoy a stress-free holiday. We won't launch pre-orders without warning!"
VR is becoming increasingly prevalent as device manufacturers try to offer enhanced experiences, especially in gaming. Oculus has been showing off what it can do for some time, and it seems its official debut is not too far away. But it was Oculus that seemed to kick-start this upward trend and, since it hit the headlines, we've seen a number of big technology companies giving it a go, especially smartphone makers.
The HTC Vive is one, for example. However, like Oculus, the headset is still in the initial rollout phase and not yet on sale commercially, requiring any developers wanting to have a pop at writing code for it to enter a selection process for distribution, which began only this summer.
Sony, another smartphone maker, has also dipped its toe in the world of VR via Project Morpheus, a headset like HTC's Vive that looks to enhance gaming experiences, but specifically as an accessory for the PlayStation 4. µ
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