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Oculus Rift raises $16 million to fund consumer launch

Oculus Rift took a step closer to a full consumer launch today with the announcement of $16 million in fresh funding.

A year ago, Oculus Rift maker Oculus VR Inc raised $2.4 million via Kickstarter, backed by leading game developers like John Carmack, Gabe Newell and Cliff Bleszinski. The injection of cash was used to deploy development units to game-makers. This new round of funding was raised by venture capitalists Spark Capital and Matrix Partners, whose senior managers will now join the Oculus board.

"What better way to mark our first anniversary than to announce our next phase of growth," said Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus VR. "There are still many challenging problems to solve, but with the support of these great investment partners, and our passionate community, we will continue to hire the brightest minds and stay laser focused on delivering the very best virtual reality platform possible."

Oculus Rift is a head-mounted VR gaming display that gives the gamer a 3D-view and head-tracking control. It has been received positively by press and gamers via demonstrations at events like PAX and E3. Demo units were shipped out to developers earlier this year. No full consumer release date has been announced although the company is aiming for some time in 2014.

At E3 last week, Oculus Rift was being demonstrated running Eve Online's space-dogfighting proof-of-concept demo EVR, which Polygon described as "immersive with very low latency".

"Oculus began with a single mission: to put players inside the game," said Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus VR and inventor of the Oculus Rift. "This investment allows us to deliver immersive and affordable virtual reality to players everywhere."

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