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Oculus announces “Q1 2016” release for first consumer Oculus Rift

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As of this writing, it has been over 1,000 days since Oculus launched its very successful Kickstarter for the Rift virtual reality headset, and even longer since the company first made a splash at E3 2012. Back then the creators said a consumer release was “still a ways down the road,” and they’ve been equally vague about an actual release target for the nearly three years since.

Today, the company is finally ready to at least give a solid seasonal target for that first consumer headset. The Rift will be available to consumers in “Q1 2016,” Oculus announced this morning.

The announcement is light on details, save for a couple promotional images of the final consumer unit, included in this post. Pre-orders will be filled “later this year” and more information about the system’s final technical specifications will be announced next week, Oculus said. That means the Crescent Bay prototype that’s been shown at trade shows since last September is still our current best-guess benchmark for a consumer unit, for the time being. More information about “hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift,” is promised for “the weeks ahead.”

With Oculus now looking at early 2016 for the Rift’s consumer release, the first-mover advantage in the new, PC-based virtual reality hardware race surprisingly shifts to Valve and HTC, which publicly announced the Vive headset and controller just over two months ago. That device is still being promised to hit consumer’s hands “by the end of 2015.” With development kits just starting to go out to most studios, though, that launch may be light on tailored content, and that’s if the Vive doesn’t end up seeing a Steam Machines-style delay itself.

Sony’s PS4-based Project Morpheus is also targeting an early 2016 release, which the company announced in March.

No specific price has been announced for the first consumer version of the Rift, but Oculus executives have said they expect the final headset to fall in the $200 to $400 range, roughly in line with the $300 to $350 price charged for existing development kits. HTC, on the other hand, has warned consumers to “expect a higher price point” for the first edition of the Vive.

 

I've tried P3d with the dev kit 2 and it worked well, Outerra also. I found on a lot of the demo experiences it made me nauseous but not the flight sims where the yoke moved in the sim at the same time as I moved it in reality.

 

rift_1-640x360.jpg      rift_2-640x360.jpg

 

 

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Cant wait for the CV1.  The DK2 was basically a life changer for me, could never go back to normal monitors with trackIR now. 

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Could be a new fun toy. Have the specs and resolution been finalized yet? Can you read the VC gauges well with these things?

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Could be a new fun toy. Have the specs and resolution been finalized yet? Can you read the VC gauges well with these things?

 

Final specs haven't been put out there yet as far as I know. As it stands at the moment you can't really read the VC instruments but that's with the much lower resolution devkit 2. It does however give you a superb impression of being where you are in 3D space, height and distance etc. I just flew small GA for testing and because it makes you so aware of where in space you are, you could do a whole flight without ever watching your instruments. Even the impression of speed over the ground is incredible.  It's enough to make me absolutely sure that I'll be well up in the queue when they come out because they will sell out quickly.

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I've used the Kickstarter unit that my friend purchased to play some FPS games and was very impressed. I can't see how I could use this with a flight simulator without the ability to see all the controls that aren't on my stick.

 

Anyone have thoughts on how they would make this work? Some have suggested that one will develop spatial awareness of their surroundings and be able to find buttons and knobs without seeing them but it sounds very awkward to me.

 

Curious about your thoughts and experiences.

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The main thing that shocks people is that everything is real size, the immersion is incredible, it makes even the most mundane thing become amazing.  Unfortunately it killed FS for me, you really have to try it on software that was designed for VR.  Elite Dangerous or Asseto Corsa are good examples.

 

Hopefully in the next year or so it will look great in P3D.  It works pretty well in DCS, the great thing is you are not looking at a screen, you are inside the A-10, everything is correct size as you look around.  Very hard to describe :) I was just flying circuits in the A-10 and P51 for hours, it's like owning your aircraft.  I can only imagine what the PMDG 777 will feel like.

 

@Oracle, I have been using the DK2 with Elite dangerous for around 5 months, everything becomes natural, you can still use the keyboard if you want, you adjust to it.  I use software called voice attack, it is a programmable voice recognition and response system that only costs $8.   Insane value for money,  it control everythings on my computer, for FS you can easily set it up to work like a first officer, it will handle anything, even complex tasks.

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Anyone have thoughts on how they would make this work? Some have suggested that one will develop spatial awareness of their surroundings and be able to find buttons and knobs without seeing them but it sounds very awkward to me.

Curious about your thoughts and experiences.

Hi, here is what I wrote regarding this subject in another thread:

In episode 61 of AoA's Aviatorcast Austin Meyer (founder of X-plane) states a lot of his plans for XP10.

Especially interesting for me is his affinity for 3D vision. He wants Oculus Rift (or any other available/similar 3D vision device) to run as soon as possible with XP10 AND wants to incorporate a "leap motion controller" device to interact with the cockpit switches and levers using your hands/arms... B)  (e.g. https://www.leapmotion.com )

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Hi, here is what I wrote regarding this subject in another thread:

In episode 61 of AoA's Aviatorcast Austin Meyer (founder of X-plane) states a lot of his plans for XP10.

Especially interesting for me is his affinity for 3D vision. He wants Oculus Rift (or any other available/similar 3D vision device) to run as soon as possible with XP10 AND wants to incorporate a "leap motion controller" device to interact with the cockpit switches and levers using your hands/arms... B)  (e.g. https://www.leapmotion.com )

 

Very cool! I found myself so immersed that when I couldn't see my hands in the 3D world it was very disconcerting. If I could have that combination just for X-Plane I would consider it money very well spent.

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Doesn't OR need 60 FPS to work?

Doesn't OR need 60 FPS to work? I barely get that in cruise in the NGX.

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Doesn't OR need 60 FPS to work?

Doesn't OR need 60 FPS to work? I barely get that in cruise in the NGX.

 

DK2 needs 75fps, CV1 will likely need more depending on the refresh rate.  Hense why I haven't touched FSX or P3D since going to VR.    

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That's the screen refresh rate in the same way your monitor has a refresh rate. Doesn't mean the game needs to run at that framerate to be fluid though.

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That's the screen refresh rate in the same way your monitor has a refresh rate. Doesn't mean the game needs to run at that framerate to be fluid though.

 

Thats fine! So, we just need the pre-order button now :D

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I tried FSX and P3D with the DK2.   Amazing feeling of 'being there', but FS is not ready for the VR big time yet.  Way too laggy and nausea inducing.  Looks promising for the future though.

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That's the screen refresh rate in the same way your monitor has a refresh rate. Doesn't mean the game needs to run at that framerate to be fluid though.

Mate i've been running VR for months, trust me you need that 75FPS minimum or you feel sick. Sure the software will run but it will be bad experiance.

 

FSX and P3D are not ready, FSX likely never will.  For a good sim experience DCS or Outerra is the best option.  

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FSX likely never will.

 

Agree on that one.

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