With the VR arms race heating up, I've long said that the first device out will likely be the most successful. With Valve's Vive generating the most buzz at the moment and touting a 2015 release date, the long runner Oculus has a mighty task to overcome.
Unfortunately it looks like it might fall behind in the release schedule too. Speaking at panel at SXSW, owner Palmer Luckey, as reported by Polygon, clarified his prior hope to release in 2015 and said:
I did say [about the 2015 release date] before we made a lot of changes to our roadmap. We've expanded a lot of the ambition we had around the product and what we wanted to do.
Us partnering with Facebook has allowed us to do a lot of things we wouldn't have been able to do otherwise, like hiring 300 people to work on getting the Rift out as quickly as possible to the quality level we wanted to. I can't comment on the date one way or another, in either direction, but I can say that nothing is going horribly wrong. Everything is going horribly right.
I do fear for the Oculus really. The Vive looks like it might be a killer device that will be out sooner. Oculus have the mind share, but that could all change very quickly. If the Valve headset launches for over $500 and the Oculus is much lower, it might have a decent lifeline. Until we know specific prices though, I'll remain a little worried for the Rift.