High-end PC gaming has never been a cheap endeavor, and the same goes for high-end, PC-based virtual reality. Oculus Rift pre-orders kicked off today, and the headset is priced at the upper end of our prediction window, for a healthy US$599.
If you want the very best virtual reality, that's probably going to mean using one of the Windows PC-based headsets. There you're going to have two major choices right out of the gates: the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. While the Rift is gearing up for its consumer launch, we got a look at the new HTC Vive Pre dev kit today.
It's easy to forget, but the Oculus Rift began as a Kickstarter project more than three years ago. Though backers who pledged a minimum amount received the Rift dev kit they were promised years ago, Oculus is honoring its first supporters by also giving them a free consumer version of the Rift.
VR hasn't really gotten off the ground yet, so it's a little premature to say that controlling your movement with a game controller is a "problem." But for virtual reality to become more lifelike, it will need more lifelike ways of moving around. Perhaps a small step in that direction is 3DRudder, a pressure-sensitive foot controller for VR gaming.
CES is full of products claiming to be the world's first something. Make the description specific enough and you can be the first anything: world's first 3D-printed, Bluetooth-connected, GPS-enabled smart peanut butter jar, anyone? Well, today at CES Unveiled we stumbled upon a company claming to have the world's first, ahem, smart shoe.
We already knew that Oculus' Touch controllers, which give you hands inside virtual worlds, wouldn't be shipping alongside the Rift in Q1, but today the Facebook-owned company announced a delay in the ship date for the wireless accessories.
A few decades ago, the Nintendos and Segas of the world used to bundle a flagship title with their gaming consoles: be it Super Mario Bros. or Sonic the Hedgehog. That doesn't happen with today's systems, apart from special edition bundles – which often cost around US$50 more than buying the system by itself. With VR, though, Oculus is going one-up on those old-school game consoles, bundling not just one but two highly-anticipated games with the Oculus Rift. When we add this together with some other recent clues, we think this could mean roughly a $500-600 price tag for the Rift.
Smartwatches are creating unexpected new rivalries, where tech companies like Huawei and Samsung are going head-to-head with jewelry firms like Tag Heuer and the Fossil Group. The Fossil Q Founder is a worthy Android Wear watch that shows that watch companies can make tech products just about as well as tech companies can make watches.
When Oculus VR announced the consumer Rift earlier this year, the company had mentioned that pre-orders would start late in 2015 ahead of the headset's Q1 2016 launch. Today the company's founder shed some light on the lack of an official pre-order announcement, saying we can now expect them to start soon after the new year. More importantly, the Oculus Rift's release window is still on track.
Though there's already one great mobile virtual reality headset you can buy today, the release windows for the big PC- and console-based headsets dictate that 2016 will be the year VR goes mainstream. But once you get a VR headset, what kinds of gaming experiences can you expect to have with it? Join Gizmag, as we preview some of the biggest upcoming virtual reality games.