The Oculus Rift could soon be in the hands of consumers. Preorders for the virtual reality headset launched Wednesday at 11 a.m. EST (8 a.m. EST). Oculus announced preliminary details regarding the Oculus Rift ahead of the preoder, but Wednesday was the first time consumers knew how much the VR headset would cost and its release date. The Rift wil cost $599 with a scheduled ship date in March.
Unlike other preorders, no money was exchanged Wednesday. Consumers could sign up for a Rift for free with the ability to cancel their order at any time leading up to its release. The preorder was available for customers in the U.S. and 20 countries. There was no limit on how many units would be available during the preorder, thus no "sold out" fears for potential early adopters.
We won't lock people into preorders months before reviews come out using our awesome preorder bonuses. We have confidence in our product!
— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) January 6, 2016
Reserving a Rift will also give consumers a chance to preorder the Oculus Touch, the company's motion-tracking controller. Oculus Touch will be released in the second half of 2016. Each Oculus Rift will come with a wireless Microsoft Xbox One controller, but fans will have to wait a few months to create a completely immersive experience.
Prior to the Oculus Rift preorder, Palmer Luckey, Oculus' founder, announced each preorder would include a free copy of "EVE: Valkyrie." All Rift headsets will include the VR platformer "Lucky's Tale" for free. Kickstarter backers who purchased a developer kit during the company's successful crowdfunding campaign in 2012. Since the campaign, Oculus was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion in 2014.
"After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post announcing the acquisition.