The first glimpses of the Oculus Rift CV1, the consumer version of the company’s hotly anticipated headset are finally here. Like the Rift DK2 and Crystal Cove prototype that came before it, the CV1 shares a clear lineage with the prior Crescent Bay prototype, but refines it yet further.

The Oculus Rift Crescent Bay prototype was revealed at ‘Connect’, the company’s first developer conference back in September 2014. Since that time, it’s remained the lightest and most comfortable headset from any of the major competitors (sorry Sony, Morpheus ergonomics are great, but Crescent Bay has got you beat on weight).

oculus-rift-cv1-full (enhanced)

Just announced to be shipping in Q1 2016, the new Oculus Rift CV1 shows svelte refinements to the foundation of Crescent Bay. The evolved design is curvier, making it a bit more friendly to the eye, reeling it back ever so slightly from the edgy future. However, the all-black design, touted by the Rift from the beginning, says that this headset is no toy.

oculus-rift-cv1-front (enhanced)

Likely contributing to the design are former members of the Carbon Design Group, which Oculus acquired back in June 2014. Carbon was known for the industrial design of the Xbox 360 controller and the original Kinect, among others.

See Also: Designer Mocks-up Oculus Rift Consumer Version (CV1) Concept

The headset’s materials have received significant attention and one interesting thing to note is the near cloth-like texture on the casing and inside of the CV1 (see lead photo). While this would surely make the headset softer to the touch, my guess is that we’re looking at a very lightweight material, designed to reduce the overall weight of the headset.

New Live Captions Feature on Vision Pro Could Lead the Way to Real-time Translation

oculus-rift-cv1-headphones (enhanced)

The headphones have also received attention and see a nice composition of material design. They look more professional now, hopefully instilling more confidence in their quality. While the Crescent Bay prototype headphones weren’t pretty, Oculus maintains that they’re design for a very high quality audio experience.

See Also: Oculus Rift ‘Crescent Bay’ is Designed for Audiophiles – Here’s Why that’s Important for VR

oculus-rift-cv1-bottom-switch (enhanced)

A long switch on the bottom right of the headset seems an odd choice for a power switch, but with lenses that appear to be mounted in place, the desired alternative (an IPD adjustment lever) seems even less likely. Though it could be something like a volume or brightness adjustment.

oculus-rift-cv1-logo-headstrap (enhanced)

While Oculus is light on CV1 info for now, new information about the headset’s specs are due soon.

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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."
  • WadeWatts

    Good sleuthing Ben! I think one of the major unanswered questions is… What does the input capture or device look like? I am excited for Oculus and my development efforts to know the release date, I think this will inspire some companies to finish or start their Oculus development efforts. Hopefully by E3 or even SVVR we will know the input side of things. Hard to finalize development without that information! Any thoughts?

  • Curtrock

    First of all : Congrats to Oculus, and to R2VR for their non-stop coverage of the Rift since day one. This day has been highly anticipated by many, and I feel like a kid waiting for Xmas.
    And now, my rant:
    To all Oculus haters: F-off already!
    I am amazed that I’ve seen so many comments on FB & Twitter about how this is too little too late, Oculus dropped the ball, the Vive has already won, Facebook is the devil, etc..
    The Vive does look like a great HMD, and I will most likely buy this one too, but it sure as HELL doesn’t make the Rift obsolete. It’s great that there are choices, and VR as a whole is better off for it. I wish both companies much success with their products, and there is room for Sony, Valve, and Oculus to compete for our money. One thing to remember, if it wasn’t for Palmer Luckey & Oculus, we might be years instead of months away from ANY virtual reality.

    Rant over.
    Happy CV1 announce day :)

    • Fernando

      Agree with everything Cutrock, except for the final sentece ;)

      I’d rephrase it to: “It was for Palmer and OVR that we’ve had VR for 2 years now”

      Happy CV1 announce day :)

      • Curtrock

        Yes, Fernando. Agreed :)

    • Jesster

      Speaking as someone who can’t really justify spending $300+ on two very similar VR HMDs, this announcement pretty much made my decision for me. I’ll be going with a Vive. This doesn’t mean I hate Oculus, or that I think they’re doomed or anything. I’m sure they’ll do fine, and I may end up picking up a CV2 or CV3 down the road. But, I’ve been following the VR scene from a distance since the original Oculus kickstarter. I don’t know anyone with even a DK1 much less a DK2, don’t live near any VR meetups and haven’t had a chance to make it to a convention in the last few years. The only modern VR I’ve even tried is Cardboard. I’ve been dying to get my hands on this tech. I had high hopes CV1 would make it out by the end of 2014. When it became obvious that wasn’t going to happen, I thought for sure they’d get it out sometime in 2015. I’m really disappointed in this announcement and won’t be waiting the extra few months for the CV1 if the HTC Vive meets they’re Fall 2015 release.

      • Don Gateley

        Something to carefully research when selecting a device is its content channel. If the device only supports a proprietary channel with content approved and curated by the device maker your choices will be limited to what they deem appropriate and profitable for them. Forget porn. :-)

        Content for DK1 and DK2 was openly available in that anybody with the skills could create something you could download and install on your PC and run it. They have not indicated whether they will stay with this openness for the CV1 or build a moat allowing only approved applications which seems to be the trend in the VR space.

        So far the only consumer device I know of that has an open channel is Google Cardboard and its various compatible HMDs. If anyone knows of others, please speak up.

  • MMajor

    There is really only one thing holding me back from buying a CV1 out of the gate.. Can I get it without those damned headphones? That was the only negative experience I had with the dev kit, and I already have a nice pair of headphones.

    • HappyHimitsu

      ?? Neither of the devkits have integrated headphones.
      I am confused….

  • lawrencem49

    That bottom lever looks more like an IPD adjustment lever than a power switch… But I’m very curious about that faceplate; apart from housing the tracking LEDs, will it also house the gesture tracking device from Nimble that Oculus acquired last year?

    • Fernando

      I wouldn’t count on Nimble for CV1 (one can still hope, tho)

      • Patrick Hogenboom

        I agree. They would never release a device with such a fundamentally different method of interaction without releasing a devkit. The developers need time to experiment with it and integrate it into their games.

    • Don Gateley

      I certainly hope so. Anybody who thinks IPD adjustment is optional has an IPD that is right on the average. Even the new Wearality Sky lenses with their huge exit pupil still must be made adjustable for my eyes in order to achieve maximum acuity based on actual experimentation.

  • Paulo Cunha

    Awesome! Finally it’s here :D
    But unfortunately to me, if it’s the same FoV that gives that sense of binoculars, I’m not buying it yet. To much money including import taxes for less than at least 140o. degrees. I don’t feel immersion, it’s not VR for me yet. But I can still dream it will be larger, I hope! :) Now that we have a big competition, those features are coming, for sure.

  • Curtrock

    I think Oculus has made a very clever business decision by offering pre-sales of the Rift later on this year. The hype & momentum that could be generated when pre-sales begin, will effectively make the Rift 1st to market, even if delivery doesn’t occur until Q1/2016. Of course, Valve could do the same thing, and start pre-sales even before Oculus does. Either way, it would be hard for me to resist getting out my credit card when given the opportunity to purchase an “actual” consumer grade VR device, regardless of whether it is Oculus or Valve.