The Facebook stock price today was relatively flat after Thursday's uneventful shareholder meeting – despite an interesting announcement…
Along with Oculus, Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) officially unveiled its virtual reality headset Thursday morning at a San Francisco event. Oculus is the two-year-old startup Facebook acquired in March 2014 in a $2 billion deal.
Dubbed the Rift, the device goes on sale in Q1 2016, Oculus Chief Executive Officer Brendan Iribe said. A price was not revealed, but Oculus previously said that it will sell for less than $1,500.
Rift is strapped over a user's eyes. Then, it takes a user into lifelike 3-D environments.
The headset includes removable headphones, allowing the device to be used in tandem with a user's own headphones. Rift also come with a wireless game controller, originally built for the Microsoft Xbox One game console.
Facebook and Oculus have collaborated with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) to ensure the device will work well with games running on Windows 10. The souped-up operating system will be released July 29 as a free download for anyone running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1. The free update will be available for a year.
Software developers have had access to Rift prototypes for several years. Numerous games will be available for the device in the coming year. The widely popular EVE: Valkyrie from CCP Games and Chronos from Gunfire Games are among those to be offered.
Rift will also offer Oculus Home. Home is a central place where users can peruse offerings, make purchases, play games, and interact with other players. A 2-D version of Oculus Home will be available for use without the headset.
In addition to Rift's unveiling, Oculus demonstrated a prototype of a new virtual reality controller. Called Oculus Touch, the wireless device is held like other controllers and provides haptic feedback. Haptic feedback uses the sense of touch to provide users with information.
Included on Touch controllers is a ring of sensor that detects when users wave or give a thumbs up. The aim of the Touch is to create an extension of a user's own hands. When using Touch, a user will see their own hands in the virtual world.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg touched on virtual reality Thursday at a more serious-toned meeting in Santa Clara, Calif.