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GDC Recap and Shipping Update
Oculus Blog
Posted by Oculus VR
April 13, 2013

Now that Rift development kits are in the wild and the Oculus SDK is live, game developers have started creating amazing VR experiences. We’re really enjoying checking out the community’s latest samples and demos. Keep them coming!

If you have an awesome, new VR experience to share, let us know via Twitter, Facebook, or the Oculus Forums. We’d love to try it!

With all the energy in the community, this weekend felt like the right time to put together an update on all things Oculus.

GDC Recap

Phill Ryu, GDC attendee, tries the Oculus Rift for the first time at GDC.

For Oculus, GDC 2013 was nothing short of incredible. Virtual reality made a huge splash — you could feel the excitement in the air. We loved every minute we spent brainstorming the possibilities for the next generation of VR gaming with some of the best game developers in the world. It was really special to be a part of.

Photo from the front of the Oculus booth looking back at the line.

An enormous thank you to everyone who waited in that line just to get a glimpse of the Rift or to meet the team. It means the world to us.

It’s hard to capture that same excitement and energy from GDC in words, but here are a few of our favorite pictures, videos, and articles from the show:

“Piloting a Mech in Hawken in virtual reality is a very different experience; you are acutely aware that you are a person inside a large piece of thudding, heavy, violent machinery… The illusion of actually being there, inside the Mech, was hard to shake.” – Ben Kuchera, Penny Arcade Report

Palmer demoing Hawken VR with the Rift dev kit.

“Oculus VR's Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was the runaway star of GDC… The line to test drive the mech combat game Hawken on the Rift was at least a hundred strong for the entire show—two-hour wait times were not uncommon and I personally witnessed people literally running to the Oculus booth to get a head start on the line when the exhibition floor opened…” – Damon Poeter, PCMag

The additional line area for the Oculus booth. People waited through this (thank you!), then moved to the line around the actual booth. Shout-out to the amazing GDC CA staff who helped us throughout the show.

Patient fans waiting for a demo, drawing on the booth’s walls.

Between the crowd at the booth, media, developer meetings, our GDC talks, remotely launching the Developer Center, and shipping the first batch of dev kits, GDC was a thrilling week. Special thanks to all the backers who came out and shared a few drinks with us at the Thirsty Bear.

We recorded both of our GDC talks, which we’ll be posting online soon. Palmer’s “Virtual Reality – The Holy Grail of Gaming” will be available early this week, then Michael and Nate’s talk on the challenges of designing great VR games should be ready in the next week or two.

Palmer during his talk, “Virtual Reality: The Holy Grail of Gaming.”

Michael and Nate discuss the challenges of building a great virtual reality experience in their talk, “Running the VR Gauntlet.”

Thank you to everyone who came up and spoke with us during the show. It was a pleasure meeting all of you! And again, a special ‘Thank you’ to our backers for making this possible. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Shipping Update

The Oculus logistics team is 100% focused on getting dev kits to your doorstep. Here’s the latest on our progress:

We’ve shipped roughly 1,850 development kits worldwide so far (~500 internationally). Up next, we have another ~2,000 arriving around April 26th, but it could be a few days earlier or later depending on international customs.

Of the upcoming ~2,000 unit batch, ~500 will be EU, ~500 will be Asia/Oceania, and the rest will be the Americas. These units will also be the first delivered via our new EU/Asia/Oceania fulfillment network, which should help reduce delivery times and costs.

Nirav laying claim to a few of the units delivered to Oculus HQ.

If you’d like to learn more about our international shipping plans, Nate provided a detailed breakdown over in the official Oculus Forums, which you can read here.

A handful of international backers have reported a few speed bumps with European and Canadian deliveries related to customs and tax charges. Sorry for the inconvenience, we’re working on sorting these issues out now. If you have any problems with your delivery, please let us know by emailing!

If you’re one of the generous backers who has received their Rift and shared the experience with your friends, neighbors and community: Thank you! Keep spreading the word and sending us your feedback. We’re really looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

T-Shirts and Posters

The ever-elusive Oculus Kickstarter t-shirts and posters are finally ready! These will be shipping worldwide starting next week.

Oculus-ready UDK

The Oculus-ready Unreal Development Kit (UDK) is now available from the Oculus Developer Center! A handful of developers have already started exploring UDK scenes in VR. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can grab it here.

Unity Trial Extensions

The Unity Pro Trial Extensions aren’t available yet, but they will be soon. We’re just nailing down the details on how to deliver the extension codes to you. As soon as we have that figured out, we’ll let you know.

Building for the Future

While the logistics team manages moving 10,000+ Rifts around the world, the engineering team is heads-down on the Oculus SDK and the future of the Rift.

Team meeting, plus a birthday celebration for Andres, Peter, Lee, and Nikolay (note the delicious Oculus-themed cupcakes).

If you’ve received your development kit and you’d like to send us feedback, talk to other Oculus developers, or just discuss virtual reality, head over to the official Oculus Forums! The team reads and replies to questions/discussions there whenever they can. It’s also the best place to keep up to date on all things Oculus.

Thanks for the continued support!

— Palmer and the Oculus team