Editor’s Note: This post was updated on March 25, 2016 to reflect current events.
After a good, long development period, and a pre-ordering limbo that lasted nearly three-months, the first consumer editions of the Oculus Rift have finally shipped. Deliveries will begin this Monday, March 28. For those who pre-ordered, $599 was the required outlay. And if you’re just ordering now, you probably won’t get your Oculus Rift until summer (July). You’ll need a potent PC to push games and content to the Rift, and if you’re in the market for one of those, you’ll be happy to know that Oculus-approved desktops are already available.
We sat down with a final unit at CES in January 2016, and the experience was nothing short of otherworldly. Even for a casual gamer, being completely immersed in first-person shooters, galactic flying missions, and even Lucky’s Tale — a bundled first-party title that’ll remind you of Sonic 3D Blast — was a joy. The headset was shockingly comfortable, and given that it’s controlled by a standard Xbox gamepad, the learning curve is almost nil.
There’s simply no other off-the-shelf experience that can prepare you for what the Rift offers. You can look in every direction — and we mean every direction — to see something new, and we frequently found ourselves getting owned by baddies simply because we were gawking at the landscapes in every direction. Eye fatigue could be a problem for those who game for hours on end, but honestly, you probably shouldn’t do anything for hours on end.
It’s early, but the Rift will undoubtedly go down as one of the most impressive tech launches of 2016. Few things truly bring the wow factor, but Oculus Rift promises not to be another piece of tech gathering dust bunnies in the corner.