The long wait for Facebook’s Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is almost over.
Palmer Luckey, the founder of Facebook subsidiary Oculus VR, shared on Twitter that the manufacturing process is going well, and re-affirmed that the headset is on track for a first-quarter launch (although the company has yet to announce the price of the device).
That’s good news, given the long road to market for Oculus VR: Founded in 2012 and funded via an immensely popular Kickstarter campaign, Facebook snapped up the company for $2 billion circa 2014.
And while developers have had access to various, work-in-progress versions of the Oculus Rift for years now, and the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR headset just came out, the release of the flagship consumer model, the Oculus Rift, has been a long and drawn-out saga of vague launch windows and missed opportunities.
Thrilled to share some news: Manufacturing continues to go well, and we are still on-target for an awesome Rift launch in Q1!
— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) December 22, 2015
The long gestation period has almost certainly killed a lot of the early hype, even as Sony and HTC stepped in with their own offerings.
But Luckey says that everything is good to go, and preorders for the Oculus Rift headset will go live some time in the New Year, with plenty of warning so enthusiasts don’t have to be ready for a surprise.
Previously, Facebook had announced that the Oculus Rift will come with a copy of “EVE: Valkyrie,” a very nifty space dogfighting game that should satisfy the “Star Wars” space pilot fantasies of new VR headset owners.
This could be the big breakthrough moment for virtual reality, and Facebook has grand ambitions for the market. Just remember, you’ll need a pretty beefy gaming PC to take advantage of the Oculus Rift.