Update 3, 6th Jan: It seems the first batch of headsets has sold out with the estimated shipping date set for May.
Update 2, 6th Jan: You can now register interest in the Oculus Rift over on the store. While they aren't charging anything immediately, as detailed below, the final price is $599.00 or £499.00. For a single set up. That needs an incredibly powerful PC to use software that hasn't yet proved to be, really, well, much fun. I'm not going to pretend I haven't been a cynic for this stuff, but that seems like a ludicrous amount for anyone to pay. But, people spend that on graphics cards and high end monitors, and that's essentially what you're getting - a new, high-fidelity gaming experience.
Will it be worth it? We'll decide in reviews, then you can decide with your wallet.
NVIDIA have released an official statline for what you'll need to run VR games.
Update, 6th Jan: Palmer Luckey's already been revealing some key facts on Twitter about the Oculus Rift pre-orders that are going live in just a few hours at 4pm GMT. Most importantly, you won't be charged a thing until they start shipping. There's no deposit or bonuses for pre-ordering, so you can happily wait for reviews before dropping a pennycent.
The pair of tweets announcing this are embedded below.
Rift preorders are different from most of the games industry. You don't get charged until we ship - no deposit lock-in, no bonus pressure.— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) January 6, 2016
We won't lock people into preorders months before reviews come out using our awesome preorder bonuses. We have confidence in our product!— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) January 6, 2016
This is a fairly interesting move. The hype around VR is palpable - people are willing to spend money on this stuff now, and Oculus could very easily exploit that without looking 'bad'. It's hardly new for a company to accept money for pre-orders. Hell, they were alright doing it when they only had a prototype for the initial Kickstarter. Moreover, as someone that doesn't think this first generation of headsets is going to live up to the promise, I'm surprised they have, as Luckey puts it, so much confidence. The first step on me being proven happily wrong.
After this pair of tweets, Luckey said he couldn't post any more information until pre-orders went live. However, he also announced yesterday that everyone who reserves a Rift will be able to put themselves down for the Oculus Touch at the same time, with a first-in-line spot for both. There won't be a discount for doing so, though, as buying the control sensors without the Rift wouldn't make any sense.
Original Story, 4th Jan: Oculus have announced in a blog post today that pre-orders for the release version of their virtual reality headset will be going live on Wednesday, January 6th. The post went live at 07:41 PST with an image indicating 48 hours to go, so presumably it will be around 8am Pacific that the ordering system actually goes live.
The post doesn't confirm a price or shipping date, but says that everything will be revealed come the 6th. It also states that every pre-order will come with Eve: Valkyrie, CCP's spaceship laser simulator, and Lucky's Tale, an N64-style puzzle-platformer.
CEO and all around internet cool guy Palmer Luckey will also be doing a Reddit AMA on the 6th to answer questions and do general PR. A link will be posted closer to the time. He also indicated on Twitter that shipping for the headset would begin in Q1.
So, the moment of truth, will you be buying into VR now or giving it some time? For me, it's very doubtful unless the price is infinitely lower than I expect. I'm not convinced by the technology at all, as far as gaming goes, and am positive that it will make me feel sick. I'm excited to see how it's used in other fields - making it seem like you're in a movie theatre at home, for example - and how the tech develops over the next few years. Once it's a chip in my head, or better yet a holodeck, then I'm on board.