Oculus Announces Rift Launch in 2016

Oculus has announced their plans to debut their highly-anticipated VR (virtual reality) headset in the first quarter of 2016, saying that it hopes to “transform gaming, film, entertainment, communication and much more.”

It is anticipated that VR headsets will revolutionize virtual environments such as Second Life (it is my understanding that the “Second Life II” is being built with virtual reality in mind) and High Fidelity, the VR virtual world project currently in alpha testing by former SL CEO Philip Rosedale.

Oculus is probably the most well-known name in the pool of Virtual Reality headset makers, as their Rift headset has been in development for several years. Until now, most virtual reality technology has come in the form of prototypes and development devices shown at trade shows and high-profile announcements. Rift’s launch has been highly anticipated, with some analysts speculating that if Oculus didn’t hurry up and launch, that other companies such as the Vive, a brainchild of a collaboration between Valve and HTC, would edge them out as a contender.

Meanwhile, Sony announced intentions to launch its own virtual reality headset for its PlayStation 4 video game console, called Project Morpheus. Samsung has also thrown their hat in the ring, with their announcement that they plan to launch Gear VR, a version of the headset made to be compatible with Samsung smartphones.

Oculus itself was the brainchild of a virtual reality enthusiast Palmer Luckey, who co-founded the company in 2012 after a mix of money and encouragement from industry veterans. Oculus held a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter that generated more than $2.4 million in pre-orders for its prototype. Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion in 2014.

According to an article on CNET.com, “Analysts say they aren’t worried which company launches first. Part of the reason is that the resources and investment necessary to attract game developers to make specialized content, as well as the cost of research into next generation technology, leave a lot of opportunity for deep-pocketed companies to duke it out for a while.”

Here is C|NET’s review of the Oculus Rift headset.

Click here: C|NET’s First Look at the Oculus Rift Crescent Bay Prototype

Click here for complete article on cnet.com: Oculus to launch long-awaited Rift virtual reality headset in 2016

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