The retail version of the Oculus Rift — the VR headset that essentially restarted the virtual reality market — ships to customers today, March 28th. However, this weekend, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey decided to deliver the first ever Rift himself, making the trip to Alaska (while wearing a Hawaiian shirt and flip flops) to hand over the device to developer Ross Martin.
"I'll be damned if some random delivery guy [will deliver] the first Rift."
Speaking to Polygon, Luckey says the delivery was important to him as the culmination of years of hard work. "I said hey guys, I've been working on this since 2009, we've been working on Oculus since 2012, I'll be damned if some random delivery guy is going to get the satisfaction of delivering the first Rift. That's mine." said Luckey. "So I could figure I could take a day out of the launch process and take a quick vacation in Alaska."
Personally delivering the first Rift to Alaska!Posted by Palmer Freeman Luckey on Saturday, 26 March 2016
In the live-streaming Facebook video Luckey made of the event, you can see him itching for the Rift to be unpacked, eagerly helping Martin with the box, and then with headset's straps so he can try it on for the first time. Martin himself told Polygon that he had no idea he was the first person to buy a Rift, and that Oculus had contacted him earlier to make sure he'd be in to accept the delivery. Apparently, Martin was one of a "few hundred" customers to order the Rift at the exact same second — he just happened to be fractionally quicker than everyone else.
The delivery of the first Rift is a little slice of virtual reality history. Now Oculus just needs to wait for everyone else to get jacked in as well.