In a press release last night, Facebook-owned Oculus announced that it will begin shipping final, complete versions of its Oculus Rift VR headset to developers starting this week. VR developers interested in taking advantage of this offer should submit their VR apps through the standard Oculus dev portal, and Oculus will "be in touch with next steps."
The announcement comes alongside another big deal: the 1.0 version of the SDK has been finalized as well and will also be available this week. VR developers interested in using the Rift in their games have previously had to work with steadily changing prerelease versions of the Rift SDK; some version shifts, like the jump from 0.6 to 0.7 and 0.8, have introduced substantial changes in the way developers have to have their apps interact with the Rift hardware. Multiple developers have told Ars they've chosen to hold off on integrating Rift support into games due to the possibility of sinking development efforts into an unstable prerelease SDK. The 1.0 release should signal to anyone who wants to develop for the Rift that now’s the time to get started.
The Oculus Rift is still expected to be released in the first quarter of 2016, though we do not have as yet an exact date. Nor has the price been announced, other than Oculus informing us that it will be "over $350." The release version is expected to include a 2160x1200 display panel (25 percent more pixels than a 1080p display running at 1920x1080) running at a 90Hz refresh rate and will require a pretty hefty GPU to drive modern games at a consistent 90fps. We also learned earlier this month that space combat sim Eve: Valkyre will be included in all Rift preorders to give new Rift owners something exciting to play right out of the gate.