Palmer Luckey shuts down hope of mobile positional tracking or Rift pre-orders at Oculus Connect 2

by Ian Hamilton • September 26th, 2015

Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey used his Reddit megaphone to dispel rumors and manage expectations for Oculus Connect 2 this week, revealing “VR-grade inside-out tracking is not currently workable on mobile devices” and that “we won’t be launching Rift preorders during the show.”

The two bombshell updates sent directly to the VR enthusiast community on r/Oculus represent a notable departure from the communication strategies of existing tech giants like Microsoft, Apple and Google, which often speak anonymously through intermediaries in the press when trying to manage expectations or dispel rumors. Setting the record straight this way underscores the social nature of Oculus — a company born and raised in the era of the social web.

Here’s more from Luckey about those expectations:

Connect is a developer show first, enthusiast show second, consumer show third. There will be some consumer-facing announcements, but all in the context of their relevance to developers and the growing VR ecosystem. We will be announcing and co-announcing some really cool stuff.

With Oculus on the cusp of shipping consumer mobile and desktop VR gadgets the notes from Luckey should reassure developers that the company is laser-focused on creating a compelling consumer product by giving developers the tools they need to create fun and enlightening VR experiences.

Still, many questions remain. Without pre-orders, will we perhaps get a price for the Rift? Or will Oculus continue to hold that piece of information under lock and key as it heads to market in the same time-frame as the HTC Vive? Will we get details on the lineup of launch titles and software? Will there be an Oculus Touch dev kit? Will the company release an Oculus-branded mobile phone or a sealed up all-in-one mobile headset?

CEO Brendan Iribe takes the stage at 10 a.m. PST Thursday. The keynote by Iribe as well as those by Chief Scientist Michael Abrash and CTO John Carmack will be streamed online.

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