Oculus plots pre-E3 event to demo the consumer Rift headset

We've seen the consumer version teased, but now it's almost time to try it out

Virtual reality is heating up, although beyond the Gear VR and Google's Cardboard platform, most of the real contenders are still on the horizon. But the Oculus Rift is finally due early next year, and we may see the real thing demoed in just a few weeks.

Oculus sent out invitations to media this evening for an event on 11 June in San Francisco, featuring the tagline, "Step into the Rift." More notably, the image showcases a glance at a Rift headset that isn't like the existing development kits.

It's the same shown by Oculus earlier this month, and it seems a lot more polished and refined than the headsets already in many developers' hands, although it's not a huge deviation. It has the built-in earphones seen in the Crescent Bay prototype model, but the smooth, rounded exterior makes it look more like something you'd see in a shop.

It's extremely likely that the consumer headset will make its first playable appearance at that event. The timing certainly makes sense: it's just days before the E3 gaming expo kicks off in Los Angeles, where game makers are sure to be showing off new VR experiences.

Not only would this showing provide context for all the games that will debut, but it also lets Oculus steal some of the spotlight and conversation away from the typical consoles and TV-based games that usually dominate E3 each year. Slick move, Oculus. With pre-orders starting later this year and the consumer Rift going on sale in Q1 2016, there's sure to be plenty more news on the horizon.

[Source: TechCrunch]