In 2012, crowdfunding success and industry acclaim put the Oculus Rift at the head of the VR pack, long before the likes of the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR had ever been publicly showcased. The path towards a consumer version of the Rift, however, has been long and winding, but it seems the end may finally be in sight.
This Thursday, The Game Awards 2015 will emanate from Los Angeles with a guest list that includes Glaswegian pop outfit Chvrches, Industry Icon Award recipients from Westwood Studios, and Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey. The inventor of the Rift will be making a ‘special announcement,’ according to a report from Tech Spot.
The Game Awards — a spiritual successor to the Spike Video Game Awards — has become a launch pad for upcoming video game releases in recent years. No Man’s Sky, now one of the most eagerly anticipated releases scheduled for 2016, was put on the map overnight following its attention-grabbing debut at the 2013 ceremony.
However, the Oculus Rift is well past its debut, and as such it’s safe to assume that Luckey’s disclosure will be about something else that would be worthy of a ‘special announcement.’ With a Q1 2016 launch still being reported, it would seem like apt timing for the specifics of its release date and price to be revealed.
Next year, we’ll start to see whether VR headsets are indeed the future of video games, as projects that have spent years in research and development finally see release. The official launches of both the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR are expected to take place in the first quarter of 2016 also, so the Rift would certainly benefit from any available exposure.
Many video game enthusiasts have already had their chance to experience VR, but mainstream exposure is far smaller. The Game Awards is likely the start of a broader marketing push for the Rift — and we can expect to see plenty more advertising for VR devices from several different companies as the battle lines are drawn next year.