Oculus Rift delayed into the New Year

Successfully Kickstarted VR headset Oculus Rift will miss its proposed pre-Christmas launch.

It is now expected that development kits will begin shipping in March 2013, with all orders complete by mid-April.

Designing, sourcing, and manufacturing thousands of developer kits is no small feat,” an update on the device’s Kickstarter page explains. Since our Kickstarter, we’ve been up against the wall, working around the clock to produce and distribute over 7,500 units in just four short, crazy months.

We’ve had to modify our original design for mass-manufacturing and, at the same time, balance additional features with our tight schedule.

We wanted to have the developer kits to all our backers before the holidays; but more than that, we want to ship the best Oculus Rift developer kit possible. In order to accommodate the required changes, new features, and manufacturing duration, we had to shift our ship date.”

The team puts part of the blame on the need to source new components – most notably the display and sensor.

Whereas early units used a 5.6” LED, the screen used in final production is a 1280×800 seven inch version that boasts better response times and contrast ratios, although it does weigh 30g more than the previous model.

The team also decided to develop its own sensor to replace the off-the-shelf version used in the prototypes

Building a new motion sensor is a major undertaking,” the team added. There are plenty of challenges we’re working on, particularly sensor calibration and multi-platform driver development, but we’re confident the new sensor will be worth the engineering effort in the long run and we’re happy with the results thus far.”

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