You may recall that last month, despite previous assurances that the Oculus Rift would be released at some point in 2015, there came news that the VR headset perhaps wouldn’t launch later this year.
This speculation emerged following inventor Palmer Luckey’s comments at SXSW, where he said that he couldn’t comment on the date the Rift would emerge, something of a backtrack on the aforementioned 2015 assertions.
Now further comments (highlighted by Gamespot) have come to light making 2016 seem the more likely release date, this time from Facebook’s CFO, David Wehner, who mentioned the VR peripheral in the social network’s recent fiscal disclosure for Q1 2015.
Wehner’s comments were much more direct, though, as he said that there are no specific plans for shipment volumes in 2015 for the Rift, and that: “Oculus is very much in the development stage, so it's very early to be talking about large shipment volumes.”
That does not sound promising for any sort of near-term release, which means that the Oculus Rift is going to be beaten to market by several of its rival headsets.
For starters, HTC reckons its Vive VR gadget will definitely be here before Christmas rolls around, and this hardware has already gained a number of positive impressions from those who have tried it out. Some are suggesting the delay might even be down to the fact that the Vive looks like it has things right.
That said, while it’s all well and good that they’re honing the Oculus Rift – in fact, that’s what needs to be done, as is the case for any product, hardware or software; it’s ready when it’s ready – the danger is if some rivals come out with a poor VR experience before the Rift even emerges, it could sour much of the public on the whole idea of virtual reality.