updated 10:35 pm EDT, Thu September 4, 2014
Hardware specifications are set, improvements will be coming to CD1 model
During GamesCom, Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey and Vice President of Products Nate Mitchell spoke to Eurogamer, giving some clues on the future of the virtual reality (VR) headset. While neither party had anything to say about a potential release date, new information was given on the price and improvements of the consumer version of the Oculus Rift.
The retail version of the Rift, which the company refers to as CD1, has the hardware specifications set for construction. According to Luckey, consumers can expect the improvements to be on par with the scale of the shift from the first developer kit, the DK1 to the newest DK2 kit that developers and enthusiasts recently got their hands on. Eurogamer's Robert Purchese was able to get some answers, specifically that the CD1 will see an increased refresh rate from 75Hz to 90Hz or more. The resolution will change as well, with Luckey only saying it would be a significant increase.
"We know what we're making, and now it's a matter of making it," said Luckey.
It's said that the CD1 will sport a new design that reduces the weight and size of the virtual reality headset. When asked if the consumer Oculus Rift would look similar to the existing models, Mitchell said that it will be recognized as a VR headset. As for it being recognizable as the Oculus Rift, he thinks it will. It was also teased that another new feature could be coming, but Luckey and Mitchell were quiet on the specifics.
Before the CD1 release, Oculus does want to make the setup and use of the headset much easier. The company realizes that it is "kind of a nightmare" to setup in its current state. "We want that whole experience to be super-polished and easy to use for anyone," said Mitchell. "There's a lot of work to be done there, especially on the software side."
When it comes to pricing, the company already has a figure in mind. Mitchell said that the company wants the CD1 to be in the ballpark of $200 to $400. That keeps it in range of the DK2 kit, which was running $350 for pre-orders. However, the price could go up or down depending on a number of factors including components used, pre-orders, scale and more. Luckey added that that Oculus Rift will "be as cheap as possible."