In an interesting interview with Venture Beat, Nate Mitchell from Oculus has confirmed some details of the expected commercial version of the Rift, the CV1, while leaving many others up in the air, as it could not be otherwise.
At the CES in Las Vegas, Oculus has publicly shown Crescent Bay, basically the same battery of demos that it used in the Connect in September, but with some tweaks and with the addition of 360º audio, which adds a more important realism plus than it might seem at first glance. When asked what will come after Crescent Bay, Nate says that it will probably be the CV1, since they intend to focus on manufacturing it and the possibility of mass manufacturing Crescent Bay as DK3 would take them away from that goal. So, it seems clear that we will not see any more Oculus prototypes or development kits.
Although Oculus are satisfied with the Crescent Bay and consider that many of its parts, and specifications are good enough for the CV1, the main lack of Crescent Bay is a control system, and Nate says that we will not see the fruits of the acquisition of Nimble VR and 13th Lab in the CV1, you may not even in the next, but that makes it clear that there has to be a system of control for the CV1, that is the great piece of the puzzle that they lack, and what they are working on these moments. Other Crescent Bay problems that they are working on for the CV1 are the fragility of the prototype, the accuracy of the tracking and the volume of the absolute positioning, which according to Nate should be improved more (and that Crescent Bay is already an important improvement over the DK2 in that sense).
Faced with the question of the minimum requirements for the CV1, obviously they are not 100% defined yet, but they are currently using GTX 980 that render in stereo and at 90 Hz at a still unspecified resolution, so it implies that to enjoy the CV1 we will need a similar high-end graphics, which at this point will not surprise many people. And it is that reaching 90 Hz in 3D stereo at a resolution higher than 1920×1080 is not exactly turkey snot, and although Mitchell states that the ideal would be to exceed 90 Hz in the CV1, we do not believe that they will go further so as not to trigger the requirements even more. In any case, if nVidia and AMD finally offer MultiGPU solutions for virtual reality, it will be an option to be taken into account by those who intend not to sacrifice detail in the most demanding experiences. They also do not rule out offering CV1 packs with some graphics card recommended by Oculus.
And what about the long-awaited release date? So far no one from Oculus has confirmed anything, and this interview was not going to be an exception. Nate states that they are working on the manufacture of the CV1 since they finished with the DK2, which has served as an experiment for a much more massive manufacture. He also makes it clear that it is possible that the launch will take place this year, and the fact of not considering launching new development kits makes this possibility even more sustainable, but he does not want to get wet asserting it flatly.