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Accidentally released Oculus Rift images are real but ‘ancient,’ says headset’s creator

Ahead of next week’s E3 event, Oculus is on Thursday holding a special gathering to reveal the latest details on the long-awaited consumer version of its Rift VR headset, which is due to hit stores early next year.

The team behind the Rift has also been rejiggering its website, adding a timer to its homepage counting down to Thursday’s event.

As enthusiastic fans of the hardware dug a little deeper into the freshly designed site yesterday, they stumbled upon a bunch of hitherto unseen images that they assumed revealed the latest Rift design. And that wasn’t all – the renders also showed several accessories that may be offered with the device when it goes on sale.

Related: Oculus CEO hints at $1,500 price for the Rift and its PC

It seemed for a few hours that Oculus had made a bit of a boo-boo. Actually, it had – those images shouldn’t have been there. After being made aware of the content, Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey was quick to point out that the renders are in fact “ancient” images and “nowhere close” to how the final product looks. He also called them “old placeholder concept” images.

Despite Luckey’s insistence that the items in the pictures bear little resemblance to what’s about to be unveiled by the Facebook-owned outfit, the images appear to offer some clues as to what consumers can now expect.

Related: Oculus Rift will finally hit store shelves early next year

For starters, there’s what looks to be some kind of input controller complete with a circular touch pad at one end. Another image shows the tracking camera that points toward the Rift to establish its position, shown in the image resembling a microphone atop a pole. Finally, on the headset itself, you’ll notice a front-facing camera.

So are these renders truly “ancient,” or is Luckey just trying to dampen down a website blunder? Pop back to DT tomorrow where you’ll find all the latest news from the Oculus team’s much-anticipated pre-E3 conference.