Though not technically “free” given the initial donation, some lucky backers will receive an Oculus Rift at no extra cost.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of pre-orders for the Oculus Rift, the first virtual reality headset to become widely available (though “widely” is largely dependent on the as-yet-unknown cost). But while many will shell out hundreds of dollars to experience this major step forward for the technology, others won’t have to at all. Specifically, those who backed the original dev kit for the Oculus through Kickstarter.
The developers have announced that a free, Kickstarter Edition of the Oculus Rift will be given to all those who backed the dev kit ($300 or more) during the initial campaign. Not only will they receive the Oculus itself, but the bundled games promised to pre-orders (Lucky’s Tale and EVE: Valkyrie) will be included with it.
To receive the Oculus if you backed the kit, you must fill out the Kickstarter survey that will be emailed to you before February 1, 2016, and have a shipping address in one of 20 countries the Oculus Rift will be offered in initially. There will be alternatives available later if you do not have such an address, though it’s unknown now what those might be.
6,955 people paid enough to receive this edition of the Oculus in this gracious move by the developers. It’s an excellent way to say thank you to those who got them to where they are now, and when compared to the money they’ll make selling the devices, giving away 7,000 or so of them won’t be a loss. Kudos, then, to the development team and supporters alike, for bringing VR to more people than ever before.
Meanwhile, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the price reveal in hopes that one day, it’ll be low enough for pinch-penny gamers like me to experience too.