Business Technology

It’ll cost £550 to start a virtual reality existence as Oculus Rift comes to the UK

3 min read

17 August 2016

Former deputy editor

Facebook-owned Oculus has started pre-orders of its Rift virtual reality headset, which comes with a price tag of £550. And gadget-loving business leaders won’t have to wait long to lead a VR life as the gizmos hit shelves on 20 September.

Life can be stressful at the best of times, especially for leaders of growing businesses. So, if you find that massages and sports just don’t do the trick at helping you let off some steam, purchasing an Oculus Rift may do the job.

The £550 headset allows wearers to shut the world around them out, acting as digital blinkers that can provide an immersive world of entertainment spanning videos, films and games.

Retail partners in the UK include Amazon, John Lewis, Curry’s PC World, Game and Harrods. The 20 September arrival date will also see Rifts launched across Europe and Canada too.

Oculus was snapped up by Facebook for $2bn in 2014 and it seems as though the partnership is beginning to take shape with a mass rollout imminent. In February at Mobile World Congress, Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage in stealth as he walked down the aisles past oblivious delegates who were zoned out while wearing Samsung Gear VR headsets – which are powered by Oculus.

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Of the Rift, Zuckerberg said: “When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people.

“People who try it say it’s different from anything they’ve ever experienced in their lives. Oculus’s mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences.”

The Rift will feature VR platform game Lucky’s Tale and hundreds of free VR videos to watch, while VR-specific games and other experiences can be bought from the Oculus store by device owners.

Offering some insight on the rapid expansion of the product, Oculus noted it will run demonstrations across Europe and Canada in coming weeks, which will be stepped up to over 600 retailers by autumn.

As it stands, there are more than 100 VR games on the Rift and 30 set to launch by the end of the year, with Minecraft just one of the significant releases available.

This is the year that virtual reality will be stuffed down our throats.