Oculus CEO Hints at 2015 Launch Date; Confirms VR Controller in the Works

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Oculus CEO Hints at 2015 Launch Date; Confirms VR Controller in the Works

At CES this year, Oculus did not have any specific announcements in tow, but did confirm work on a VR controller as previously reported.

CEO Brendan Iribe told reporters that he is very excited about 2015, when asked about a release date for the consumer version of the Rift. He also confirmed that Oculus is indeed working on a controller for VR.

In 2014, the interest in consumer virtual reality was steadily building, with Oculus Rift showing its advanced prototypes and companies like Sony also getting on board with its own technology. Google threw its own hat in the ring last year too, when it showed off Google Cardboard, a $35 (a little over Rs. 2,000) headset that would let you use any smartphone as a VR headset. Near the end of the year, Samsung - in partnership with Oculus - announced the Gear VR, an accessory for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that turned the phone into a VR headset, complete with a software suite to help people find the best VR experiences.

So far though, all these devices have one thing in common - with the exception of the Gear VR (which went on sale in December), none of these devices are available to buy.

NDTV Gadgets got to use the second Oculus Rift prototype, the Dev Kit 2, and we were hugely impressed by what Oculus has already accomplished - but at the same time, others seem to be stealing a march on the company in actually bringing VR to the consumers.

Also at CES, Razer - one of the best known companies making gaming peripherals - surprised many by announcing its entry into the field of consumer VR. Razer has created a software platform called Open Source VR (OSVR), that will be software agnostic. This means that a developer who makes a game using OSVR doesn't have to try and customise his game for each headset that he wants to support. In some ways, this is similar to how Unity for mobile is helping developers bring their games near simultaneously to both iOS and Android, since they no longer have to rebuild products from scratch just to support a new platform.

This will also enable a lot of new hardware makers to enter the market, since - in theory at least - an OSVR game should work equally on all platforms that support it. So while Razer might not be directly competing with Oculus here, it's certainly going to cause greater competition in the field, but Oculus still isn't ready to set a date for the eventual release of its headset. From Iribe's statement at CES though, it appears that Oculus does not intend to make its fans wait for much longer, though 2015 is vague enough that the actual product might not be released for nearly a full year still.


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