You know you’re hitting the big time when a giant, faceless corporation takes an interest in your work. Consider the case of Oculus VR, a confident young tech company with an idea set to revolutionize the modern gaming industry. Bought out by social media behemoths Facebook.com earlier this year, the one-time crowd-funded firm is now at the forefront of an exciting drive towards in-eye ball entertainment — or perhaps advertising, depending on your outlook.
For its part, Facebook has promised not to interfere with Oculus’ premiere project, the Rift, a virtual reality video gaming headset that intends to right the wrongs of the Virtual Boy and then some. Considering some of the machine’s early success, it’s easy to see why.
Speaking to TechCrunch earlier this week, the newly acquired company updated fans and observers alike as to the true scale of that success. With 85,000 units sold — including 20,000 pre-orders of the new Oculus Rift ‘DK2,’ the brand has earned an estimated 26.75 million dollars, and all without having produced a single retail-ready product.
The news follows earlier reports of a halt in dev kit production — a slowdown that owed as much to material shortage as the system’s overwhelming, unexpected popularity. According the official Oculus website, this backup will have abated by around July of this year, when the next set of dev kits are shipped off to early investors.
In related news, one creative dev, currently testing out the Rift’s PlayStation rival ‘Project Morpheus’ has hit upon an idea that may well interest the folks over at Oculus HQ. Pete Norris, an artist working for the Creative Assembly has re-imagined Sony’s admittedly odd looking eye-piece to reflect some of pop culture’s most recognizable masked men. While the artwork only convinces from a head-on perspective, the concept of interchangeable vinyl decorations isn’t too far removed from Microsoft’s once-popular Xbox faceplates, and may one day become a similar consumer standard. Check out the Boba Fett, Robocop and Judge Dredd-inspired headsets here.
Are you one of Oculus’ 85,000 customers? What do you make of the virtual headset? How will the company’s recent acquisition by Facebook affect its future? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check in with all of the latest Oculus news, right here on Game Rant.
The Oculus Rift DK2 model is available to pre-order. The set is priced at $350 (roughly â‚¬250/£210). The next round of shipping begins in July 2014, with earlier buyers set to receive their orders first.
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