First Click: Oculus Rift ships, Microsoft Builds, and more in the week ahead

March 28th, 2016


Remember this day because Monday, March 28th, 2016 will be recorded by historians as a milestone. Today’s the day that the first Oculus Rift headsets will arrive at homes in 20 countries, nearly four years after the ambitious VR campaign launched on Kickstarter. I’ll be taking lots of hands-on photos because in 20 years, kids will want to point and laugh at our silly virtual reality headsets like we do today to that poor Zack Morris and his giant cellphone. Nobody in journalism has spent more time immersed in VR than The Verge’s Adi Robertson who’ll have plenty to say about the Rift experience, VR gaming, and what this first generation of high-end headsets means for the future of digital entertainment.

This is also the week for Microsoft’s big Build developer conference. Although the man who once chanted "Developers! Developers! Developers!" has moved on, Redmond is arguably writing some of the most interesting cross-platform software right now as it resets direction under CEO Satya Nadella. With any luck, Build will see the launch of new interactive Live Tiles for Windows and universal Xbox apps. We also hope to learn more about the company’s plans for Hololens augmented reality. Tom Warren, The Verge’s preeminent Microsoft reporter, will lead our live coverage when the event kicks off on Wednesday.

Don’t worry iOS and Android fans, we’ll also have a lot more to say about Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy TabPro S tablets this week.

On the music front, The Field will be releasing The Follower on Friday, Axel Willner’s followup to 2013’s Cupid’s Head. Friday’s also the release date for Yeasayer’s Amen & Goodbye, the band’s followup album to 2012’s Fragrant World.

And finally, BlackBerry will be reporting earnings on Friday, April 1st, aka April Fools day, in a quarter that saw both Facebook and WhatsApp give up on the beleaguered company.

All this and more is coming in the week ahead. But first let’s get caught up on what happened in the weekend that was.

  1. Oculus founder: 'I'll be damned if some random delivery guy will deliver the first Rift.'

    One very lucky developer and gamer got the surprise of his life

  2. Tokyo Thrift: Sony's Eggo headphones were the Beats of the '90s

    Which is the Sony that stokes your nostalgia? The world-dominating titan of the Walkman, Trinitron, and PlayStation? The experimental madhouse that shipped bizarre products like the AIBO and...

  3. This animated Batman/Superman team-up is better than Dawn of Justice

    I admit that nostalgia makes me a little biased here, but for my money the DC Animated Universe has done some of the very best storytelling using comic book characters. Superman '78 and The Dark...

  4. New Game of Thrones trailer declares: 'we deserve death... we all do'

    Spring is in the air — and Game of Thrones season six is on our doorstep. This weekend, HBO released a teaser for the upcoming season. It's the second trailer so far, though this one, at 30...

  5. You might need a manual just to unpack the HTC Vive

    The HTC Vive is an impressive piece of kit, but it's far from simple. A diagram reportedly included in an email to early adopters this week made that fact very clear by detailing the no fewer than t...

  6. Microsoft has created Star Wars-style holographic communication

    Microsoft sure seems to be having a ton of fun with HoloLens while the rest of us wait for it to stop being a research project and become a real thing that we can purchase and use. But in the...

  7. This female beetle uses unsexy pheromones to calm horny dudes

    If a female burying beetle doesn’t want sex, none of the males around her can get turned on. That’s because she emits pheromones that nip a male's sexual desire in the bud — temporarily, at least. ...

  8. Explore Batman v Superman's incredibly detailed Batcave in Google Street View

    Movie sets are often an illusion — unlike real places, they're only convincing from certain camera angles. The same can't be said for the set of Bruce Wayne's home and secret Batcave in Batman v...

  9. The Little Prince in VR is like a diorama come to life

    Sometimes the best interaction is having literally nothing to press. The Rose and I is a short piece by Penrose Studio that made its world premiere this past January at Sundance Film Festival. Loosely based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little

  10. How to be human: why do I obsess over my cheating ex?

    Leah Reich was one of the first internet advice columnists. Her column "Ask Leah" ran on IGN, where she gave advice to gamers for two and a half years. During the day, Leah is Slack’s user...

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