×

Oculus Unveils Virtual Reality Headset for Consumers

Oculus unveiled the consumer version of its Oculus Rift headset at a press event in San Francisco Thursday. “Oculus Rift is going to deliver the magic of presence,” said Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe. “For the first time, we will finally be inside the game. This is going to change everything.”

Iribe described the headset as “incredibly” light, and said it is all wrapped in fabric. “We really wanted to make this a beautiful object,” he said. He also said that it will work for people who are wearing glasses.

Oculus will ship the Rift consumer headset in Q1 of 2016, but the company didn’t reveal any pricing details Thursday.

The Rift comes with a newly-developed tracking system that can track the position of the headset with low latency. The tracking system is also used for Oculus Touch, a new type of input device that will make it possible for users manipulate objects in virtual worlds with their hands. “We wanted to deliver hand presence,” said Oculus founder  Palmer Luckey, adding: “This is critical to the sense of overall presence.”

Luckey showed off a version of Touch that he called a prototype, and said that it will allow for gestures, object manipulation and more. He didn’t say whether Touch will ship with the Rift, but said that the input device will be demoed at E3.

The company did share a few more details about the Rift headset itself: It will come with integrated headphones, which can be removed in case users want to use their own headphones instead.

The Rift also comes bundled with a wireless Xbox One controller as an input device, which is part of a wider partnership between Oculus and Microsoft. The Rift headset, which needs a desktop computer to render virtual worlds, will natively work with Windows 10, and Xbox head Phil Spencer said Thursday that users will be able to play Xbox One games with the Rift.

The Oculus event was billed as a press conference preceding the E3 Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles in the coming days, and naturally, the company out a big focus on video games, announcing several partner titles that will be shown at E3. Oculus head of developer strategy Anna Sweet said that the company wants to spend more than $10 million to foster independent game development for the Rift.

Games for Oculus Rift will be available through the Oculus Home store, a kind of app store available within the Rift. Home will give users VR preview trailers for games to get a feel of how they will look like in VR, but there will also be a desktop version that can be browsed without the headset on.

Earlier this week, preliminary pictures of the Rift headset accidentally leaked when Oculus launched a revamped version of its website. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey said at the time that the images were “ancient” and nowhere close to the final version. The headset shown off in San Francisco Thursday definitely seemed evolved, and it looks like Oculus ditched the idea of a simple remote control for the more advanced Oculus Touch.

More Digital

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Ends Long Strike Against Ad Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty

    SAG-AFTRA has ended its 10-month strike against Bartle Bogle Hegarty after the advertising agency agreed to sign the union’s new commercials contract. The union instructed its 160,000 members in September not to accept any work for BBH, which had been signed to SAG-AFTRA’s commercials contracts since 1999. The strike came two weeks after BBH publicly [...]

  • FaceApp is displayed on an iPhone,

    SAG-AFTRA Warns Members About FaceApp Terms of Use

    SAG-AFTRA is warning its 160,000 members about the “overreaching and invasive” terms of use for the FaceApp mobile application. FaceApp, developed by Russian company Wireless Lab, uses neural network technology to automatically generate transformations of faces in photographs. The app can be used to make users appear older, younger, or change gender. The terms include [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    ARRI, Mobile TV Group Back New Venture Revitalizing Streamed Concerts

    A new venture looking to bring a fresh approach to live-streaming concerts has gotten the backing of hardware heavyweights ARRI and Mobile TV Group. Wide+Close is launching with the mandate of shooting music performances with film cameras and cinematographers in order to give the content a more cinematic feel. “We want to take concert filming [...]

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    How 'Fortnite' Fans Can Earn Loot by Watching YouTube Videos

    Epic Games and YouTube have teamed up with a special offer for “Fortnite” players — giving players of the popular battle-royale game rewards when they watch “Fortnite”-premiered content on the video platform. The catch: You have to watch at least 20 minutes of “Fortnite” special content or live esports broadcasts to receive the loot. Under [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Plans to Expand to Brazil, Other Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Roku plans to expand to multiple new territories in the coming months, Variety has learned. One of the first new markets for the company will likely be Brazil. An international expansion could help Roku grow its customer base, which in turn should lead to growing advertising revenues. Roku executives have been hinting at plans to [...]

  • Google Stadia Pro to Include 1

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service to Include Free Monthly Game

    Google has been busy sharing additional details about its upcoming game streaming service Stadia, clearing up some confusion in the process. Stadia’s pro subscription tier, which will cost $10 per month, won’t be a Netflix-type subscription service. However, subscribers will get free games at the rate of about a title per month. That’s according to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content