What we know so far about Oculus Rift pre-ordering

Posted: January 5, 2016 in Game Articles

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by Gabe Carey via Digital Trends

After years of restless nights spent questioning when the Oculus Rift would arrive, we’re finally one step closer, as it was revealed today that pre-orders for the wildly anticipated VR headset would open up on Wednesday, January 6 at 8 a.m. Pacific. That’s probably what most of us were expecting since, just last month, we caught word that every Oculus Rift unit would ship with a complimentary download of one of its flagship launch titles, dogfighting shooter Eve: Valkryie.

How much will it cost?

Oddly enough, although both a release window and a pre-order date have been disclosed, it’s still unclear how much the Oculus Rift will cost when it finally launches in the first quarter of this year. If previous dev kit iterations are anything to go by, we can expect a price tag of between $350 and $400.

Last May, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe said in an interview at Re/Code that the combined price of a Rift and a PC shouldn’t exceed the “$1,500 range.” Considering most Oculus Ready PCs start at $1,000, we can infer that a suitable PC would demand the bulk of that cost.

What can it do?

As I reported in a spec showdown against Samsung Gear VR earlier this year, Oculus Rift boasts two OLED displays featuring a combined 2,160 x 1,200 pixel resolution with a 90Hz refresh rate. Sensor-wise, it packs in a whole lot, including a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a magnetometer, and a constellation array, which helps with head-tracking.

By default, the distance between eyes on the Oculus Rift is set to 64 mm, though it can be adjusted depending on personal requirements. It supports both Xbox controllers and the Oculus Touch controller, which was recently delayed until the second half of 2016. While official dimensions have yet to arise, the most recent dev kit sports a 1.3 x 14.7 x 7 inch build, which should be indicative of the final design.

What will I need to use it?

According to Oculus, for “the full Rift experience,” you’ll need a fairly hardy rig, as the headset requires an Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD 290 and an Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater, at least 8GB of RAM, HDMI 1.3 output, three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, and Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or greater.

This means you could build your own or get a PC pre-built with the full intent of using it for virtual reality.

What else does it come with?

In addition to the more mature and competitive Eve: Valkyrie, every pre-ordered Oculus Rift unit will ship with the vibrantly colorful Lucky’s Tale from Playful Corp, a studio comprised of former Words With Friends developers.

It’s not clear at the moment what else comes bundled with the consumer version of the Oculus Rift. If the first two dev kits are any indication, however, we’ll likely see the headset, two pairs of vision lenses, an external camera for position tracking, a USB cable for the camera, an HDMI-DVI adapter, a sync cable, and a power cord sporting a USB adapter.

When is it coming? 

It’s not apparent at the moment when exactly we’ll get our hands on the Rift, but Oculus promises it will be some time in the first quarter of the year, which just so happens to end on March 31. This gives Oculus a head start on the competition, considering the increasingly promising HTC Vive was delayed last month until April.

Given the onerous system requirements and warning signs from graphics card makers, there’s no doubt virtual reality is going to be a tough sell. With as much as a few more months to go, however, it won’t be long until we see for sure just how well the new tech is received by the public.

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