Oculus Rift has raised a whopping $75 million in private investment to bring its virtual reality headset to consumers following a highly successful crowd-funding effort to create developer units.
The system, which provides a stereoscopic headset with head-tracking capabilities for desktop and mobile use
, has proven popular despite being available only as a relatively under-supported developer-centric prototype run. Companies ranging from Valve
to MMO giant CCP
have announced support for the device, and it has even resulted in spin-off projects like the Virtuix Onmi treadmill system
. The company has also tempted id Software co-founder John Carmack, responsible for such classics as Doom and Quake, away from his creation to become Oculus Rift's full-time chief technology officer
Now, Oculus Rift can complete its retail launch plans thanks to a hefty investment of $75 million - or more than thirty times what it raised through crowd-funding service Kickstarter - from private investment group Andreessen Horowitz, courtesy Netscape founder Marc Andreessen.
'Over the past 16 months, we’ve grown from a start-up to a company whose virtual reality headset is poised to change the way we play, work and communicate,
' claimed chief executive Brendan Iribe in a statement to financial site VentureBeat
. '40,000 developers and enthusiasts, as well as a number of great partners, have joined our cause and helped us bring the seemingly impossible to life. This additional infusion of capital, as well as the leadership and experience of Marc Andreessen, will help us take the final steps toward our ultimate goal: making virtual reality something consumers everywhere can enjoy.
The money will be used to fund the final development and creation of retail-ready Oculus Rift packages, which promise a higher resolution display for an even more convincing virtual reality experience.