At long last, you can walk into a store and buy the Oculus Rift in the UK. The high-end VR headset has been a long time coming, what with the numerous shipping delays for pre-order customers. Last month, however, Oculus promised that the Rift would be available in old Blighty from September 20th, and sure enough it's delivered. You can now walk into John Lewis, Currys PC World, Game and Harrods, slap down £549 and walk away with the matte black goggles. Starting today, you can also order through Amazon UK, should you prefer not dealing with fleshy mortals.
The big drawback? There's still no sign of Oculus Touch. The wrist-friendly controllers promise a more natural, immersive experience by tracking the position of your hands, rather like the Vive's wand remotes. For now, you'll have to make do with an official Xbox One controller, which comes bundled with every Rift. It's a shame, but at least the retail version comes with a free game: Lucky's Tale, the bright VR platformer by Playful.
Pushing the Rift through retail channels could be vitally important. Oculus will be running demos, much like HTC is doing with the Vive, to ensure people can try the technology for themselves. It's a tired cliche, but when it comes to VR -- seeing really is believing. These sessions could incentivise purchases and, by extension, increase software sales on the Oculus Store. That in turn would attract more developers, giving the Rift more utility and value. To succeed, however, Oculus needs to outmuscle some of its competition; namely HTC and soon, Sony with its PlayStation VR headset.
Update: Oculus Touch controllers are priced at £190 in GAME. Eek!
Oculus Touch controllers to cost £190 in the UK. Crikey. pic.twitter.com/zg9JTNiCg8— Nick Summers (@nisummers) September 20, 2016