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Facebook reportedly hints Oculus Rift will ship this year

UPDATE: Mike Schropfer has moved to clarify earlier reports and quotes attributed to him. On Twitter he denied mentioning shipping dates. He wrote: “I know what I meant to say was just this tech is here this year – *not* announcing this game or Oculus shipping this year”

It appears earlier quotes may have been taken out of context, so it’s ‘as you were’ with regards to the Oculus Rift shipping date.

Original report continues below…

Facebook has offered the clearest indication yet the Oculus Rift VR headset will ship to consumers in 2015.

Speaking at the F8 developer’s conference on Thursday, Facebook’s CTO Mike Schroepfer showed off an advanced version of the Eve: Valkyrie space-based shooter game to attendees. He hinted it won’t be long before excited gamers will be able to see it for themselves.

He said (via Engadget): “You’re going to be able to do this this year in VR … in something shipped by Oculus. This is going to be incredible.

“We are just on the cusp of getting there, the sense of presence … the sense that you are not where you stand,” he added.

The Oculus Rift release date has been up for debate in recent months. Following the long-held notion it would launch in 2015, recent speculation has suggested the consumer launch may slip into 2016.

At CES 2015 Oculus displayed its most consumer-ready model yet, the Crescent Bay prototype featuring an improved display resolution, integrated ‘real space’ audio and a new ergonomic, lightweight design.

Read more: Oculus Rift vs Project Morpheus: The battle of the VR headsets

Meanwhile, during the conference Oculus’ chief scientist Mike Abrash went all Morpheus on everyone (the Matrix character, not the Sony headset), by predicting a VR future indiscernible from real life.

“Real is just electrical signals interpreted by the brain,” he said (via Venture Beat).

“It’s fair to say our experience of the world is an illusion. We have very little choice about what we perceive. That makes the occasions when we have a choice that much more special. Virtual reality, done right, truly is reality, as far as the observer is concerned.”

“VR today is good enough to create experiences, but just barely.”

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