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The Oculus Rift headset has begun shipping, with the virtual reality market poised for a surge of activity in the coming months and the remainder of 2016.In what Oculus has described via a blog post as “a historic moment”, the Rift has begun shipping to more than 20 countries and regions.

Oculus states that there is a line-up of more than 30 games available via the Oculus Store, “from the Zelda-esque labyrinth adventure of Chronos to the high-impact space battle simulation of EVE: Valkyrie”, while platformer Lucky’s Tale is bundled with every Rift.

Meanwhile, Oculus Video has launched, featuring thousands of Facebook 360 videos, and Vimeo and Twitch livestreams, with Oculus stating that it will be adding feature-length movies, new partners and “lots more content” soon.

Oculus 360 Photos allow users to explore over 200,000 destinations, while every Rift comes with Oculus Dreamdeck, a set of vignettes designed to introduce users to the world of virtual reality.

Oculus has also introduced Farlands, “a tiny alien world that comes with your Rift”.

“Farlands lets players visit a vibrant, otherworldly planet, teeming with exotic life,” Oculus states.

“Explore fantastic landscapes; discover bugs, fish, and plant-life; and build relationships with the alien creatures – all in real time. Each day brings you a new opportunity to discover creatures and explore their habitats.”

It’s going to be an active year in virtual reality, with a number of products set for release.

The HTC Vive will begin shipping April 5, while Sony recently announced that its PlayStation VR headset will launch in October.

The Telsyte Australian VR & AR Market Study 2016 recently forecast that 110,000 virtual reality headset units will be sold this year, with sales growing to more than 500,000 units per annum by 2020.

Beyond 2016, Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi noted that 2017 and 2018 will see strong market growth, with manufacturers ramping up production and more “must have” use cases emerging, while Telsyte has predicted that the bulk of the initial device demand will be driven by video gamers.

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