Oculus, the maker of the much talked about Rift head-mounted virtual reality device, has postponed the release of the developer kit. The kit was expected out in time for Christmas delivery, but the maker has pushed it back to April of 2013.
Why? You may ask. The product is backed by thousands of people, many being popular video game developers themselves. Big names such as Unity, Valve, Epic Games, Jack McCauley (the lead engineer of Guitar Hero), and John Carmack (co-founder of id Software), have all rushed head-long into supporting Luckey's project. Developers are heralding this as the possible new wave of gaming technology.
Well, as they say, it isn't being green – the surge in popularity and support behind the project has also lead to a near-insane level of orders, from developers as well as enthusiastic gamers. Palmer Luckey, the developer of the Oculus Rift, said in a recent post:
"We hoped to sell a few hundred kits to game developers and virtual reality enthusiasts around the world. Instead, we were blown away by the overwhelming response from a community of almost 10,000 backers, who raised nearly $2.5 million dollars to help us develop the Oculus Rift.”
This means thousands more dev kits than expected need to be sent out, and the company saw no way of doing this by the original deadline.
One of the reasons for the delay is that the 5.6-inch display that the original Oculus Rift prototypes were using is no longer available, and therefore couldn't be used to make additional prototypes. Therefore, the team had to switch to a 7-inch display. The team sees a silver lining in this cloud, however, as "the new display beats the old display in almost every key area including response time, switching time, contrast and color quality.”
And this is only for the developer's kit – the consumer product still languishes in an obscure release date:
“We haven’t announced an exact date or quarter for the consumer product’s release, but we promise we’re working tirelessly to make it available as soon as possible,” says the website.