Now roughly two years into development and on the relatively new Development Kit 2, the Oculus Rift has been a long time coming. That said, for a console (or something like one), a two-to-four year development cycle is about normal. Sometime in the foreseeable future, however, the consumer version of the Rift will be on shelves. As founder Palmer Luckey says, “We know what we’re making and now it’s a matter of making it.” The DK2 is a significant improvement over the original developer release of the Oculus Rift that went out previously, with higher resolution, head tracking, and reduced blur and jitter. The consumer version proves to be even better, and aims to do so without breaking the bank.
While we still do not have a definite release window for the Rift, co-founder Nate Mitchell said that consumers “shouldn’t buy a DK2.” There are a couple of reasons to discourage the average consumer from picking up development versions of hardware, but one is that the next iteration is on the horizon. Since the consumer version of the Rift has effectively been decided on, the wait until it is ready may not be all that long. If we’re lucky, it may even be next year.
No final specifics have been released yet, but what the Oculus Rift founders have said about the consumer version give us a pretty good idea of what to expect. For starters, it is going to be an improvement over the DK2, as much as that was an improvement over the DK1. The resolution, currently at 1080p, is going to increase “significant[ly],” as, even with the 1080p and reduced blur, picking some things out of the background can be difficult. The refresh rate, now at 75Hz, will also go up to at least 90Hz—which is at least 50 percent higher than your average monitor or television screen’s standard refresh rate of 60Hz. There may also be another new feature, like how the DK2 added spacial head tracking, though no further details were given on that front. The physical design will change a little to reduce the weight of the device. They also want to make the user experience smoother, as right now getting the Rift set up and running as intended is “kind of a nightmare,” to use Mitchell’s words.
As for the price? They are looking at between $200-400, so even at its worst, you’ll be paying about the same as a console. Where in that range it ultimately falls will depend on a lot of factors, but Mitchell ensures the goal is to keep it as low as possible.
Source: EuroGamer (the interview covers a lot of stuff besides specs, so those interested in the current state of the Oculus Rift may want to check it out as well)