The UK release date for the long-awaited virtual reality (VR) headset Oculus Rift has been announced.
Oculus, owned by parent company Facebook, has announced that its VR headset will go on sale in UK stores on 20 September at an RRP of £549. As reported in The Telegraph, this final price tag is higher than the original £499 the hardware was listed at when pre-orders were opened this January. A company spokesperson put this down to VAT along with the falling value of Sterling.
The Oculus Rift headset will come bundled with the adventure game Lucky’s Tale, designed specifically for the hardware, and gamers will be able to log into the Oculus Store to access the headset’s full library of VR games and experiences. This includes the recently announced addition of the ever popular virtual world, Minecraft.
The VR gaming format war is already hotting up, with the Samsung Gear VR and HTC Vive already available in the UK, and Sony’s PlayStation VR headset scheduled for release this October.
Retail stores and websites have been accepting pre-orders for the Oculus Rift some time, however, during the weeks running up to its release, there will be demonstrations taking place across the UK to give consumers the chance to try the headset before they buy.
Games that will be demonstrated include The Climb, a VR game based on extreme rock climbing, and potential buyers will also have the chance to delve into Farlands, where they can explore alien landscapes.
John Lewis is just one of the retail chains that has been offering consumers the chance to pre-order.
"We've seen interest in virtual reality rise dramatically in the last few months, with sales of the Samsung Gear VR headset, powered by Oculus, up 310 per cent in the last six weeks alone,” said Will Jones, Head of Buying at John Lewis. "The Oculus Rift device is a significant progression in virtual reality technology, which is set to reinvent how we work and play,” he added.