Oculus Rift release date, price and system requirements: Oculus overtakes HTC in key market

10/02/2017: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has shown off new prototype input gloves for the Oculus Rift, which allow users to physically interact with virtual worlds.

Zuckerberg shared the new technology as part of a Facebook post, in which he detailed his recent tour of Oculus' research lab. Based out of Redmond, Washington, he said that the lab was "where some of the best scientists and engineers in the world are pushing the boundaries of virtual and augmented reality".

"The goal is to make VR and AR what we all want it to be: glasses small enough to take anywhere, software that lets you experience anything, and technology that lets you interact with the virtual world just like you do with the physical one."

For Oculus, adding the ability to type in VR could be the key to cracking the enterprise market; an area that will prove crucial to the long-term survival of VR tech in general.

Zuckerberg will also be glad of the distraction from Oculus' recent court case loss, in which the company was ordered to pay $500 million for copyright infringement, false designation and breach of a non-disclosure agreement by founder Palmer Luckey.

02/02/2017: Facebook has been ordered to pay $500 million after losing the Oculus lawsuit. ZeniMax filed the lawsuit against Oculus back in 2014 for $2 billion.

A U.S. jury determined that Oculus used ZeniMax computer codes to launch their own virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift. The executives are said to have broken a ZeniMax non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in the beginning of the headset building process.

A major part of the $500 million comes from a $200 million NDA violation. The remaining amount comes from two false designation violations: $50 million against Oculus and co-founder Palmer Luckey and $150 million against former CEO Brendon Iribe.

Despite the big win, ZeniMax may not stop at the lawsuit.

"We will consider what further steps we need to take to ensure there will be no ongoing use of our misappropriated technology," a ZeniMax spokesperson told Polygon after the ruling.

The spokesperson also stated that they plan on "seeking an injunction to restrain Oculus and Facebook from their ongoing use of computer code that the jury found infringed upon ZeniMax's copyright." This injunction would bring Oculus Rift sales to a halt.

Although Oculus executives were found guilty of using ZeniMax technology, they were not found guilty of misappropriating ZeniMax trade secrets--which Oculus claimed was the heart of the lawsuit.

"We are undeterred," said an Oculus spokesperson on the finding. "Oculus products are built with Oculus technology."

Oculus stated that it was "disappointed" and would be filing for an appeal.

18/01/2017: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took the stand in court yesterday to defend his company, as well as its subsidiary Oculus, in a trial over intellectual property theft.

Zuckerberg was brought into the dispute last year, when ZeniMax's original lawsuit against Oculus and its founder, Palmer Luckey, was re-filed, with additional defendants including Facebook.

ZeniMax Media, parent company of game developers Bethesda Softworks and id Software, claims that its research and intellectual property were used to help Luckey create the Oculus Rift.

Zuckerberg told the court yesterday that "like most people in the court, I've never even heard of Zenimax before" - despite the fact that it publishes some of the most successful games in the world. He also explicitly denied that ZeniMax's tech formed the basis for the Rift, saying "the idea that Oculus products are based on someone else's technology is just wrong", according to the BBC.

Echoing the statement released by Oculus when the original lawsuit was issued in 2014, Zuckerberg seemed to imply that ZeniMax was merely attempting to make a quick buck. "It's pretty common when you announce a big deal that people just come out of the woodwork and claim they own some part of the deal," he said.

Indeed, Facebook's mammoth acquisition deal to buy Oculus was even larger than initially thought. While Zuckerberg's company paid $2 billion (the amount sought by ZeniMax in damages) to buy Oculus itself, his testimony apparently also revealed that Facebook shelled out a further $1 billion to retain key Oculus staff members and to offer incentives.

The trial is expected to last for around three weeks, with Oculus founder Luckey - who has rarely been seen in public since he was outed as backing a pro-Trump group last year - expected to be called later this week.

Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.

Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.

You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.