The Oculus Rift development kit is no longer for sale in most parts of the world, the company reports. The dev hardware for the virtual reality headset has been on sale since Oculus kicked off their Kickstarter campaign, and began shipping around March 30, 2013. Since its original development, Oculus has iterated on the hardware design multiple times, so it isn’t surprising to see them ending this initial hardware seeding program.
At CES this past year, Oculus showed off its Crystal Cove prototype device, which the company’s CEO told me in a previous interview is functionally where they want the hardware to be when they ship to consumers. The Oculus Rift dev hardware predates not only the Crystal Cove and its refined experience, but also the HD version of the VR goggles, too, meaning that while devs using it have the basic tools to build software for Oculus, and while it was important that the company seed those as quickly as possible to give people time to execute on dev timelines, it’s now also important that those working on software have access to the same type of experience consumers will have in-home.
Oculus actually mentioned the dev kit sales running ending in a larger announcement where they revealed a new hire: Atman Binstock, formerly as Steam who was a key engineer in creating the VR Room demo during Steam’s last Dev Days community event. Binstock was one of the core team put together at Valve by Michael Abrash at Valve to work on AR and VR opportunities, but the opportunity to head up and build the new Oculus research and development team at the VR-focused startup apparently proved too tempting.
Oculus has sold 60,000 kits over the course of its existence, but don’t expect dev seeding to end here – the blog post promises that we’ll hear more news on the subject soon, so let your mind wander at the prospect of what a V2 dev kit might include.