The international rollout of Oculus Rift is going pretty slow. But it looks like the VR headset will finally hit the big market. Oculus has announced that the all-new Rift will be available for purchase in European and Canadian stores from September 20 onwards. Priced at £549 or €699, pre-orders of the VR has begun.
In the UK, the Rift will be available from Amazon.co.uk, John Lewis, PC World, Game, as well as London’s Harrods department store. In Germany, the headset will be available at Amazon.de, MediaMarkt, and Saturn, in France, at Amazon.fr and FNAC while in Canada the, VR will be sold at Buy and the Microsoft Store. Oculus Rift demos will be offered in over 600 locations across the US, Canada, and Europe.
Will Jones, Head of Buying for Electricals at John Lewis said: “We’ve seen interest in virtual reality rise dramatically in the last few months, with sales of the Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus, headset up 310% in the last six weeks alone. The Oculus Rift device is a significant progression in virtual reality technology, set to reinvent how we work and play, and we are proud to offer our customers the chance to experience it first.”
Rift features an OLED display with a 2,160 x 1,200 resolution and an 110-degree field of view. It is designed to fully immerse the users in whatever they are watching, by covering their eyes with the screen.
The Oculus Rift began life as a Kickstarter project in 2012. Facebook bought the headset (that went through several pre-production models before being released to the public), founded by Palmer Luckey, a prodigious teenager, for $2 billion (£1.5bn) in 2014. VR is supposedly going to become the next computing platform. As for now, the technology is largely being used by gamers and requires a high-end computer or video game console to achieve VR’s full potential.