Consumer friendly models of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset could begin to roll out sometime next Summer, according to several sources with knowledge of Oculus VR and its headset. Oculus VR will reportedly launch a 'beta' version of the headset, albeit in a limited quantity. A release month of April 2015 was mentioned by one source, with the larger Summer 2015 window still being considered, as Oculus may decide to further delay their release plans.
The company's plan has been compared to how Google conducted the launch of its Google Glass eye wear. Distribution to consumers will be handled internally; it's been suggested that Oculus aims to keep a close eye on initial sales and performance before proceeding to a much larger launch. To date, only Oculus Rift Dev kits have been made available for purchase, and even they've been unable to satisfy demand. It's probably safe to expect the same from the consumer launch if it'll be as limited as reported.
When reached for comment by TechRadar, Oculus VR refused to discuss the matter and continued to keep quiet about their plans. While a variety of sources sound confident in the April 2015/Summer 2015 window, nothing is official until it comes from Oculur VR themselves.
Last week, we got our first idea as to what consumer prices would be like for the Oculus Rift. Company co-founders Palmer Luckey and Nate Micthell stated they want to keep the hardware in the $200-$400 range; something similar to the prices of current development kit models. The DK2 model, specifically, sells for $350.
"We want to stay in that $200-$400 price range," said Micthell at the time. "That could slide in either direction depending on scale, pre-orders, the components we end up using, business negotiations..." Luckey added on to say that, whatever the price, it'll be as cheap as possible.
But the Rift won't be the first VR device to come out. Samsung, in collaboration with Oculus, announced the Samsung Gear VR in Berlin last week. The Gear VR, out this year, is a device that, although utilizing Oculus tech, mainly relies on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 for VR display and power. Also unlike the Rift, the Gear VR will see a larger retail release from the start. Despite Oculus's headset being the device that's getting the attention of tech experts, Samsung's first VR outing will be the one to bring VR to the larger consumer market.
Do you have any interest in the Oculus Rift, or VR at all? What's the most you'd pay for Samsung's Gear VR or a Rift device?