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Facebook is currently commanding the social media market.

The company has enjoyed success in the recent past under Mark Zuckerberg. Right now, it owns numerous social networking platforms including WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. Besides, it owns the virtual reality company Oculus VR. Facebook-owned companies are on an upward trend; Instagram is making video watching better, Messenger is to soon make online selling a reality and WhatsApp video calling feature is just about to be launched.

Then comes Oculus VR, the company has finally announced the long-awaited price of its virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift. The device is open for pre-orders at the company’s website from Wednesday. The headset is priced at $599 for the Americans. In Australia, it will be sold at $649 (including Australian tax) plus shipping cost. According to the company’s post on Wednesday, the Rift will be first sent to 20 countries which include Canada, Britain, the U.S., Australia and Japan starting 28th of March. Although a report says the pre-order purchasers are being told to expect their device in May, the headset will also be available at specific retailers from April.

The Oculus Rift box features

Rift box contains the headset fitted with headphones and a mic, an Oculus Remote that allows you go through the Oculus Store for non-game stuffs and entertainment (video content), an Xbox One controller meant for games and a stationary USB sensor that trails the wearer’s head. The package is also accompanied by copies of “Lucky’s Tale” and “EVE: Valkyrie” and of course the required cables.

Specifications of PCs recommended for the Oculus Rift headset

Operation of the headset requires a very powerful PC, Oculus said in a blog post. The specs are as described: Windows 7 SPI 64-bit operating system or better, NVIDIA GTX970/AMD R9 290 graphics or better, Intel i5 4590 processor or higher, a RAM memory not less than 8GB, at least USB 3.0 ports and a USB 2.0 port or better input features and not anything less than HDMI 1.3 video output.

These features might only be met by powerful PCs made not more than a year ago, so basically many PCs will be struggling to meet them, but Oculus has a solution. The company has made fully recommended computers at a price of $1000. Consequently, a bundle with PC inclusive will cost a special price of $1500 and is also available for pre-orders as confirmed by Oculus’ chief executive officer Brendan Iribe. However, those who want to pick theirs off the shelf, Oculus will be putting stickers “Oculus ready” on certified PCs.

Oculus building incredible games

On his post on Facebook site, CEO Zuckerberg said more than 100 VR games including Minecraft will be available in the Rift by the end of this year. The company has been working with top developers in the industry to create amazing VR games and experiences. Oculus studios will launch more than 20 games that are expected on the Oculus Rift in 2016 alone. Some of the games already developed by Oculus this year include Harmonix’s Rockband VR, Insomniac’s Edge of Nowhere and Crytek’s The Climb. Others in the list are yet to be announced.

Oculus Rift to be joined by two VR headsets soon

Two major VR headsets are expected within a few coming months, the Oculus Rift just making an early arrival. The HTC Vive and PlayStation VR are yet to be launched. The HTC Vive, like the Rift, requires a powerful PC to operate, but it’s one step ahead. The device was developed in conjunction with Valve that runs universal PC games platform, Steam. Vive’s sensors allow free roaming in a computer-generated space by mapping the room around the user. Unlike the other two players, PlayStation, VR is less expensive. It plugs into PlayStation 4 that a user may already have, if not then it’s less costly than a powerful PC. PlayStation VR also includes a processing unit to add necessary requirements to power a VR.

How does Oculus Rift works?

Oculus Rift exploits the human brain’s perception of the World. The device creates a stereoscopic 3D-image by projecting two images through the headset’s lenses and in so doing, creates a virtual reality. It has a tracking system that tracks the user’s movements and adjusts the projected image appropriately thus immersing the user completely in the experience.