Well, that took a while, right? Oculus, the Facebook-owned company that literally kickstarted the current virtual reality revival, has announced that the consumer version of its Oculus Rift headset will launch in the first quarter of 2016.
"The Oculus Rift builds on the presence, immersion, and comfort of the Crescent Bay prototype with an improved tracking system that supports both seated and standing experiences, as well as updated ergonomics for a more natural fit, and a highly refined industrial design," according to the company.
Oculus had originally planned to have the Oculus Rift headset in consumer's hands by the end of 2015, but founder Palmer Luckey put that hope to rest during a SXSW panel earlier this year.
Though the delay is unfortunate, there is a silver lining for gamers who may have felt Facebook's influence would pull Oculus away from its early gaming focus. It appears the next few weeks will reveal some brand new Oculus Rift gaming experiences in the lead up to the launch.
"In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift. Next week, we’ll share more of the technical specifications here on the Oculus blog."
Since Oculus's initial 2012 Kickstarter campaign, the virtual reality landscape has shifted dramatically. HTC has teamed up with Steam for its room-movement-monitoring Vive, Sony has teased and teased its Morpheus VR headset, and Microsoft (though taking a different path into the world of augmented reality rather than VR) now has its Hololens faceputer. By having a more reliable release date Oculus can still maintain its early lead, but the competition is hotting up. With the E3 gaming conference approaching, it's the perfect time for Oculus to reinforce its commitment to gamers and wow anew the fencesitters.