There’s no hard release date set for the consumer version of the Oculus Rift headset, but the innovative tech is closer now than it was before E3 2013 thanks to $16 million in newly secured funding for Oculus VR. The investment comes from two sources: Spark Capital and Matrix Partners. The fresh influx of cash also comes with some names attached, as Spark founder Santo Politi and Matrix general partner Antonio Rodriguez join the Oculus board of directors. The money “will be used to accelerate the development of virtual reality hardware, software and services, ultimately creating a full virtual reality platform for consumers,” a press release confirms.
Oculus VR just wrapped a successful week at E3, where founder Palmer Luckey and his team came bearing an HD version of the Oculus Rift. Dev kits that Kickstarter backers and subsequent customers could purchase topped out at a resolution of 720p, a number that is then cut in half due to the dual display requirements of the headset. The early version of the 1080p rig brings a necessary leap forward in quality, as we learned during our sitdown demo.
All that remains now is for Oculus to finalize the commercial design of its virtual reality headset and put it into production for anyone to buy. There’s a long-term plan to establish the tech as a platform unto itself, complete with specialized VR interface inputs that enhance the sensation that you’ve stepped into a virtual world, but such a feature is not likely to be seen with the first widely available model of the headset.
“Oculus began with a single mission: to put players inside the game,” Luckey said in a prepared statement. “This investment allows us to deliver immersive and affordable virtual reality to players everywhere.”