On stage at Facebook’s F8 conference, the company’s CTO, Mike Schroepfer, may have just let slip a hint at the Oculus Rift release date.

We don’t often give much care to rumors of an Oculus Rift release date, but when the CTO of Oculus’ parent company speaks up, our ears naturally perk up.

On stage moments ago, Mike Schroepfer began talking about the company’s long term strategy of using Oculus’ VR technology. He first focused on explaining why VR is ready now when prior attempts in eras past have failed. To do this, he showed the undeniably impressive Eve Valkyrie trailer that debuted at Fanfest 2015 last week.

Following this, he noted to the audience that, “You’re gonna be able to do this this year in VR [pause] … and you’re gonna be doing it in [pause] something shipped by Oculus.”

It was the curious pauses that made this stand out:

Now this could very well be a general statement about the overall quality of computer graphics and virtual reality that will be achieved in 2015. But if we consider that he was talking specifically about the Oculus Rift and about Eve Valkyrie, then it’s a clear hint that the consumer version of the Oculus Rift will ship in 2015, and I’ll tell you why.

See Also: Hands-on – Eve Valkyrie’s Latest Build from Fanfest 2015, Played on Crescent Bay

Eve Valkyrie is officially an exclusive title for the Oculus Rift headset on PC and for Sony’s Morpheus on PS4. Given that we now know that Morpheus will ship in 2016, it doesn’t conform with Schroepfer’s quote. And while he could have been talking about another system like SteamVR / HTC Vive, that can’t be the answer, given exclusivity of Eve Valkyrie.

If we assume Schroepfer was speaking specifically about the Oculus Rift and Eve Valkyrie, the conclusion seems clear: the Oculus Rift consumer headset will ship in 2015. If he was only talking generally about the state of VR and graphics, then we’re no closer to knowing the release date than before.

'Into the Radius 2' Coming to PC VR Headsets This Summer via Steam Early Access, Trailer Here

Update (3/26/2015, 12:30pm PST): The Outcast Agency, a marketing agency representing Facebook, reached out to point us to a tweet from Schroepfer posted after the keynote saying that he was speaking generally about the state of VR in 2015 and not specifically about the Oculus Rift and Eve Valkyrie. The tweet was in response to New York Times tech reporter Vindu Goel who also believed Schroepfer to be speaking specifically about an Oculus Rift release date:

Goel further pressed the Facebook CTO on his statement along with Financial Times SF reporter Tim Bradshaw.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."

    Hmmm… “You’re going to be able to do this this year in VR…” If he was referring to the fact that the technology generally enables the Eve Valkyrie experience in 2015, why would he say “going to be”? It sounds like people attending F8 got a chance to try it for themselves, and he was addressing those people specifically when he said it. It’s obviously possible this year. They just experienced it. There’s no point in saying “going to be” unless he’s referring to something else.

    Since there’s only one other explanation, the only remaining question is… did he drop this breadcrumb on accident or on purpose?

  • Curtrock

    People are already playing THAT build of Valkyrie, on an Oculus product. (Crescent Bay) Oculus will only get 1 shot at releasing the CV1. The media/fan induced notion that they need to “hurry up” is def something they should NOT do. It’s not who is 1st. It’s who is best. The day CV1 drops, no one will care how long it took to get there.

  • Nick vB

    So, we’re reduced to inferring meaning from pauses – a lack of sensory input. How ironic.

    People believe what they want to believe at this stage, there is no spoon…

    • crim3

      It’s not a “lack of sensory input”. It’s obvious that there is extra information on how things are said: rhythm, pauses, modulation, gestures, etc.
      What it’s truth is that the interpretation of the “extra information” can be highly subjective.

  • Stray Toaster

    Oculus may have kickstarted the current VR wave but by failing to launch a consumer product this year as they have led us to believe numerous times, they will be letting Valve steal their thunder with the Vive and Steam Machines, which will have 100% support on the Steam marketplace

  • Sean Concannon OculusOptician

    Oculus is buying time to refine CV1 since they didn’t have pressure from substantial competition until now. With Valve’s latest dev kit announcement Oculus still knows they have plenty of time to release a consumer product. I expect the CV1 official announcement with pre-orders later this year followed by shipping going into 2016.

  • Neuromute

    When they said that people will be experiencing VR games this year I assumed they were talking about GearVR.
    John Carmack did say that 2015 is the year that Samsung and OculusVR will go “full consumer” for GearVR.

  • augure

    These silences smell very bad for VR.

    Oculus is still leading the whole VR market development, the HTC Vive is even further from a consumer product with its bulky interface, GearVR is dependent on Oculus, and I doubt OSVR will develop any further as it caters to open-source and custom builds.

    Okay let’s be absolutely honest about what everyone thinks: WHY aren’t Oculus releasing a DK3? And not just the Crescent Bay but a DK3 with at least a hand-motion prototype.

    Because this makes absolutely NO SENSE to release any VR Headset to consumer markets when the first thing that both tech profane and techies try to do is see their hand and interact with it, as well is to doesn’t make sense to bring force the promise of a complete immersion of visuals but having still to tumble on your desk in “reality” to reach for your keyboard/mouse/controller.

    Also, having hand-motion sensors, means also using camera sensors with VSLAM which are 10x better at tracking movement with less latency and hardware. AND if they even are going to release hand-motion capabilities, they at least should release a DK3 for it to be thoroughly tested.

    The fact that they have been stuck with the now 9 months old Crescent Bay prototype and announcing nothing for a CV1, get’s me both worried and also confident they’ll at least release a DK3, which I hope will really integrate hand-motion, I would hate that they bought 13th Lab or Nimble bit to transform them into vaporware, and release a product that will never meet consumer market success without it, thus meaning the end of VR attempts since most developers and makers will eventually lose interest.