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Oculus Rift consumer VR headset coming first quarter of 2016

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Oculus today announced that the long-awaited consumer version of the Oculus Rift hardware will be released in the first quarter of 2016. Further details, including what to expect from the final version of the hardware and pricing, remain unknown.

"The Oculus Rift builds on the presence, immersion, and comfort of the Crescent Bay prototype with an improved tracking system that supports both seated and standing experiences, as well as updated ergonomics for a more natural fit, and a highly refined industrial design," according to the company.

We were able to try the Crescent Bay hardware when it debuted during the Oculus Connect event and were impressed, although once again details about the technical specifications of the hardware were slight.

"The main thing is the optics combined with the screen combined with the mechanical engineering is so much tighter, and synergized, that it really makes it so that you can't notice the pixel structure, there's like no visible pixels on the screen," Oculus' VP of product Nate Mitchell told us at the time.

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"It is that total experience, which sounds cheesy, I know, but we try not to focus on tech specs," he added. "It's all the pieces working together ... VR is the house of cards, if you pull any one piece the illusion falls down."

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey had previously stated that, unless something went horribly wrong, the hardware would launch in 2015. In March of this year he clarified that statement during a panel.

"I did say [the comment about the 2015 release date] before we made a lot of changes to our roadmap," Luckey said at SXSW. "We've expanded a lot of the ambition we had around the product and what we wanted to do.

"Us partnering with Facebook has allowed us to do a lot of things we wouldn't have been able to do otherwise, like hiring 300 people to work on getting the Rift out as quickly as possible to the quality level we wanted to. I can't comment on the date one way or another, in either direction, but I can say that nothing is going horribly wrong. Everything is going horribly right."

We can expect more details soon, according to the blog post.

"In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift. Next week, we’ll share more of the technical specifications here on the Oculus blog."