Oculus opens pre-orders for their first generation VR headset, the Oculus Rift, starting on January 6 at 8:00am Pacific Time. Price and release information is still unknown.
As the festivities for the International Consumer Electronics Show begin today with various keynotes and parties, Oculus got out ahead of the VR anticipation with an announcement of their own. On January 6, the day that CES 2016 officially opens its doors, pre-orders for the Oculus Rift VR headset will begin. Pre orders will be starting at 8:00am Pacific Time, though it’s unclear whether Oculus itself will be producing the storefront, or if pre-orders will be proxied through online retailers.
“Today, we’re excited to announce that pre-orders for Rift will open on Oculus.com at 8am Pacific Time on January 6! We’ll be sharing everything you need to know to order your Rift on Wednesday when pre-orders go live.”
Other details, including price and when the Oculus Rift will begin shipping out to pre-orderers, have not yet been revealed. They’re likely the details said to be shared on January 6 when pre-orders go live, though.
Oculus founder Palmer Luckey did share on Twitter that pre-orders will be “global,” with certification met in 20 countries and more to follow. Following the pre-order launch and first wave of official information, Luckey will also be doing an Ask Me Anything on Reddit to answer any further questions or clarify any confusion starting at 6:00pm Pacific Time.
Recall that every Oculus Rift pre-order will be bundled with two games, according to what’s been announced up to this point. Both EVE: Valkyrie, the online space shooter, and Lucky’s Tale, a cartoonish 3D platformer, will be digitally packaged with the VR headset. No matter the price of the headset, every buyer will be able to load up a fully VR enabled game when the Oculus Rift arrives on their doorstep.
There’s a casualness to this pre-order announcement, and the follow-up details put out through social media are likely in line with what fans expect from Oculus. It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that this heads up was a late decision and that Oculus’ first plan was to just announce everything — pre-orders going live, pricing, and release date — at the same time. Then later they figured it’s best to give everyone advance warning so no one misses out on the first wave of pre-orders.
Complaints have already begun regarding Oculus’ lack of a price announcement to coincide with their pre-order plans. Is it fair to ask VR enthusiasts to blindly pre-order no matter the cost? Or is Oculus hoping that the excitement, the mystery of not knowing, will drive consumers to pre-order at a price point they may have otherwise skipped with a bit more time to think the price through? But then again, will the price even matter for most? Many see buying a VR headset as being a part of history. Maybe that’s why Oculus doesn’t think revealing the price needs to be a priority.
One final note. It’s not absolutely clear, but it’s implied by a Palmer Luckey tweet that Oculus Rift shipments will be sent out in waves. “Shipping starts in Q1” could simply imply that Oculus will meet demand and have headsets available from that point on. It’s more likely to mean that while the initial batch of Oculus Rifts will go out in Q1, the demand won’t entirely be met there and that pre-orderers on Wednesday may end up waiting longer than they expect. Best pay attention to the pre-order details during Wednesday’s announcement.
Oculus Rift pre-orders go live on January 6 at 8:00am Pacific Time. Check the official Oculus website for more information as it becomes available.