Oculus is ready to release its first commercial product.
By year's end, the Facebook-owned virtual reality company and Samsung will actively market the Gear VR headset as a full-fledged consumer device—marking the first time Oculus has made a push for a mass consumer audience. (Previous versions of the Samsung collaboration were offered in very small batches.)
"Oculus is going forward as hard as it can—broad consumer, trying to sell as many products as possible with the next Gear VR," said John Carmack, Oculus' chief technology officer, as part of his keynote address at the ongoing Game Developer Conference in San Francisco.
That's likely to be music to the ears of people who have been eager to experience VR as buzz about the technology has steadily built in the past few years. And the expected timing of the release—late this year, though Carmack didn't give a specific date, noting that was Samsung's decision to make—should give game developers a reasonable amount of time to create launch titles for the system.
Like the second-generation Gear VR, which was announced earlier this week at the Mobile World Congress, the third-generation product will not be a big shift from the original product, which shipped last December for $199.
"Don't expect anything radically different," said Carmack. "It will essentially be the same thing. … [But] I believe there's going to be a real market where [game development studios] can be successful."