Following the HTC Vive delay which pushed the headset just into Q2 2016, eyes turn to Oculus to see if they can deliver on the Rift’s Q1 2016 release date window.
While Valve and HTC’s initial Vive shipping target of Q4 2015 appears to have been too ambitious, Oculus is still on track for their Q1 2016 release window, as far as we know.
In addition to a stated release date of Q1 2016, the company has also said that the Oculus Rift and Oculus Touch controllers will become available for pre-order starting in 2015. 22 days remain until the New Year, and VR hopefuls are now watching the company closely to see if Oculus can stick to their promise.
We reached out to Oculus to ask whether or not things were still on track but the company declined to comment.
Responding to a comment on twitter asking if Rift pre-orders would begin before Christmas and whether or not the user should thus ask for the VR headset as a gift, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey said to “Ask for a raincheck!”:
@Tech_Demo Ask for a raincheck! Can’t say when they will open just yet.
— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) December 8, 2015
At least as far as what the company has revealed, things seem to be on track for the Rift’s Q1 2016 release date window. Back at Connect in September, Oculus said that the first Rift headset had rolled off the production line as part of a manufacturing test.
“We set a date out for ourselves for when we wanted to build the first product and we hit that date on the nose,” said Oculus Hardware Project Manager, Stephanie Lue, on stage at Connect. “Our hardware teams are pouring our hearts and souls to get it just right for the experience and for manufacturability so that we can get this out to as many people as possible. It’s definitely worth the wait.”
While the Oculus Rift is set to launch in Q1 of 2016, the company gave a more broad release window for their ‘Touch’ VR controllers, which they say will launch in the first half of 2016. Although there may be a mismatch between the launch dates of the two products, the company confirmed that Touch pre-orders would open alongside the Rift.
While Oculus Touch remains entirely unpriced, Oculus confirmed to Road to VR that the Rift would cost “More than $350,” which is believed to exclude the cost of Touch. Each Oculus Rift will come bundled with an Xbox One controller and EVE: Valkyrie.