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The Rift headset. Photo via Oculus
The Rift headset. Photo via Oculus

Preorders for the Oculus Rift started today, as does our first glimpse at what it will cost to own the face-mounted virtual reality display.

The consumer model of the Oculus Rift is $599 and the first devices are going to ship in March. However, demand is high and customers who buy now will have to wait until at least April for their device. That ship date will likely continue to slip as more people preorder their headsets.

Right now, customers are limited to one headset per person. But it’s not just the headset you’ll need to run virtual environments and games; a powerful computer is recommended to smoothly animate your virtual worlds.

Luckily, potential buyers can download a Rift compatibility tool from Oculus to check if their machine needs an upgrade. The company has also been testing PCs from various manufacturers and will certify machines through the Oculus Ready PCs program. The company will begin selling bundles include a Oculus Ready PC and a Rift headset in February, with prices starting at $1,499

The price is significantly higher than the $350 developers were charged for prototype units and $300 Kickstarter backers paid to test the kits. However, Kickstarter backers who got the original device will also be getting the consumer device for free.

The Oculus Remote. Image via Oculus
The Oculus Remote. Image via Oculus

The Rift headset will come will an Xbox controller to manipulate virtual environments, two games, a carrying case and a stand that also tracks the headset in 3D space. It also comes with the new Oculus Remote, made for navigating 3D environments that aren’t necessarily games in addition to scrolling around store pages and menus without taking off the headset.

However, the Oculus Touch controllers that sense fingers and are made for a more realistic virtual reality experience won’t ship until at least the second half of the year. Preorder customers will get a chance to buy those first though.

Update: This post has been updated to provide more details about the Oculus Ready PC program and the Oculus Remote.

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