Oculus Rift package image 001

Facebook on Wednesday confirmed that Oculus, a virtual-reality company it bought in March of 2014 for $2 billion, will be launching its hotly anticipated Rift virtual-reality headset at the end of March 2016.

Priced at $599, the device is now available for pre-order and will initially ship to 20 countries starting March 28, including Australia, Canada, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom, Oculus said.

The Rift comes bundled with two games—Lucky’s Tale and EVE: Valkyrie—with more than a hundred games coming later this year, including Rockband VR by Harmonix, Edge of Nowhere by Insomniac, The Climb by Crytek and Minecraft by Microsoft-owned Mojang.

The wonders of VR

In addition to the bundled games and the headset itself, which features a built-in mic and headphones, the box also includes a sensor, a Rift remote, cables and Xbox One controller.

“After years of development, our virtual reality experience, Oculus Rift, is now available for pre-order,” Facebook CEO and Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post. It will also be available in limited locations at select retailers starting in April.

Oculus Rift package image 002

“When you put on Oculus, you’ll feel like you instantly teleported into adventures like deep-sea diving, piloting a straighter or playing in a band on stage,” teased Zuckerberg.

The full list of Rift launch countries is available at the Oculus website.

Rift remote and Touch motion controller

As mentioned, the Rift includes a special remote, an input device Oculus designed to make it simple and intuitive to navigate virtual reality content. You’ll use it to browse the Oculus store, explore 360-degree videos and experience a wide range of virtuality-games and entertainment.

Oculus Rift remote image 001

“It is the easiest way to introduce non-gamers to virtual reality,” said Oculus. When you pre-order Rift, you’ll also secure your place in line for Touch motion controller pre-orders which open later in the year, with first Touch shipments scheduled to commence in the second half of the year.

Here’s what the Touch looks like.

Oculus Rift Touch image 001Pricing on the motion-input controllers will be announced in due time. More information on the Touch controllers is available over at Oculus’s website.

Availability

You can pre-order your Oculus Rift right now for $599 at shop.oculus.com. They will be shipping the device at the end of March to 20 countries initially. Orders are currently limited to one device per customer.

For the time being, the Rift is compatible with Windows only. You can download and run the Rift compatibility tool for Windows in the webstore to find out if your PC is Rift-ready.

For best experience, Oculus recommend the following PC system:

  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater
  • Processor: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • Memory: 8GB+ RAM
  • Output: Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • Input: 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Operating system: Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer

Special bundles that include a Rift-ready PC and a Rift itself will be available for pre-order in February starting at $1,499.

Source: Facebook