Facebook-owned Oculus VR has announced that the first of its second-generation virtual reality headsets, known as the Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2 or DK2, are due to begin shipping to the earliest customers towards the middle of the month.
The Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2 (DK2) hardware has left the factory, with the first 5,000 lucky customers due to receive theirs by month's end.
Following massive success on the Kickstarter crowd-funding platform and millions in private venture capital, Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion
in March this year. In that same month, the company opened pre-orders
for the DK2, which boasts improved head-tracking and higher resolution display panels than the original Oculus Rift headset while still retaining software compatibility with its predecessor.
Despite warnings that the DK2 is, as its name suggests, designed for use by developers rather than as a retail product, orders have been brisk. Oculus VR has confirmed that it has received over 45,000 pre-orders, and that the first batch has left the manufacturing facility and is heading to distribution centres now for receipt by the first in the queue on the week commencing the 14th of July.
For those who didn't hit the pre-order button fast enough, there could still be a considerable wait: the company expects to produce 10,000 DK2 headsets in July, approximately half of which will have found their way to customers by the end of the month. The remaining 40,000 buyers will have to wait - and a delay in production means that even those that were previously promised a July shipping date may need to wait until August to get their hands on the hardware.