One lucky developer got to receive the first consumer version of Oculus Rift from Luckey himself.
Brendan Iribe, the CEO of Oculus VR, tweeted a photo of a boxed Rift bundle last week to notify the world the "first Oculus Rift has shipped" and that deliveries would begin 28 March, but now we've learned the package didn't actually get shipped out via a standard delivery service. Instead, Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus VR and inventor of the Rift, hand-delivered the first Rift.
He travelled to Alaska - dressed ever so casually in a Hawaiian shirt - and handed the Rift to a developer named Ross Martin. Martin was one of a few hundred customers to pre-order the Rift at the same moment, but he beat everyone out by milliseconds and became the first person to buy the virtual-reality headset that costs $599 in the US, £499 in the UK, and €699 in Europe.
Although developer versions of the Rift have been around for years, this is the first retail version. There are also bundles that went up for pre-order in February. They include not only the headset but also the certified PC required to run it. They start at $1,499 but can cost upwards of $3,000. Oculus VR partnered with PC makers Alienware, Dell, and Asus on the bundles.
Luckey told Polygon that he wanted to deliver the first Rift himself because he had been working on it since 2009: "I'll be damned if some random delivery guy is going to get the satisfaction of delivering the first Rift," he explained. "That's mine." He even live-streamed the delivery on Facebook, the social network that bought the virtual-reality startup in 2014 for $2 billion.
In the video, available below, you can see Luckey help Martin unbox the Rift and just generally look super excited about the whole event. If you didn't place a pre-order for the headset last month and decide to place an order after watching this ridiculously cute stream, you'll have to wait until July for deliveries. And don't expect Luckey to hand-deliver it, unfortunately.
Personally delivering the first Rift to Alaska!Posted by Palmer Freeman Luckey on Saturday, March 26, 2016