Get set, nerds! In a determined step toward a digital future, Facebook is set to release its first round of Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets early next week. The Rifts differ from the augmented reality offered by face-computers like Google Glass, and instead promise to transport the wearer from the dull meatspace of their parents' basement to somewhere akin to Hiro Protagonist's Metaverse.
"Rift is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced," reads an Oculus ad. "Whether you’re stepping into your favorite game, watching an immersive VR movie, jumping to a destination on the other side of the world, or just spending time with friends in VR, you’ll feel like you’re really there."
The Associated Press reports that Facebook has decided to eschew the splashy launch parties we've all become accustomed to, and instead is simply shipping out the headsets to early adopters who paid the $600 to reserve one. It was almost two years ago to the day that Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced his company's decision to buy Oculus VR, the company behind the Rift headset, for $2 billion.
"Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home," wrote Zuckerberg. "One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people."
The first round of Rifts has already sold out, meaning that if you don't have one showing up on your doorstep this Monday then you'll have to pre-order and wait until the projected July delivery of the next round. The headsets cost $600, which does not include the cost of the pretty serious hardware required to actually run the thing — the Chronicle reports that Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey says you need a computer that costs, at bare minimum, $1,000.
But hey, you're not paying any rent living in your mom's basement, so you can probably afford it.