Roto VR announced that shipments of the first Roto VR Chairs have begun. The first units are on their way to development studios now, followed by consumer deliveries in February.
We first heard of Roto VR in May 2016 when the company opened pre-orders for the Roto VR motorized chair, which promised an enhanced VR experience. The Roto VR Chair features a motorized base, which responds to directional inputs from VR games and experiences, and rotates you accordingly. To prevent the headset cable from wrapping around you as you spin, Roto VR developed a unique passthrough mechanism that enables you to plug the headset into the back of your chair and plug the base of the chair into your computer. The Roto VR Chair also features optional rumble packs to add a level of force feedback to the chair, as well as mounts and surfaces for keyboards, mice, H.O.T.A.S. setups, and racing wheels.
When Roto VR first started accepting orders for the Roto VR, the company believed that it could ship the first chairs as early as July 2016. Predictably, the two-month timeframe that the company gave itself was too short to live up to, and Roto VR was forced to delay the launch. In October 2016, Roto VR announced that the Roto VR Chairs were about to enter production and that the company expected to begin shipping the product in January 2017.
In January, Roto VR failed to live up to its delivery promise, and the company went radio silent for most of the year. We were beginning to expect that the project fell through the cracks, and then in September, Roto VR announced that it finally signed off on the production model and that a pilot production run was underway. The pilot production run went well, and Roto VR recently ramped up production to prepare for the product’s launch next year.
“The team have been working around the clock to get Roto VR final and shipment ready” commented Elliott Myers, CEO and creator of Roto VR. “We’ve taken our time to ensure a top quality final product, and I’m thrilled to confirm that units are beginning to ship, we will move to full production and all consumer orders will be fulfilled in early 2018. We're super hyped because we know Roto VR will usher in a new era of unparalleled 360 VR immersion – and it’s affordable.”
To speed up the fulfillment process, Roto VR is offering to ship the hardware as a development kit. Roto VR said that the dev kit chairs are identical to the production chair, including the packaging. However, the company can ship the developer kits immediately because development hardware doesn’t need regulatory certificates such as FCC and CE. If you want a dev kit instead of a certified consumer unit, you must send in a request form, which you can find on Roto VR’s website.
Roto VR said that shipments of developer kits have already begun. New requests should be fulfilled in mid-January. Barring regulatory approval delays, Roto VR expects to begin shipping consumer-model Roto VR Chairs in February.
Roto VR sells the basic Roto VR Chair for $999, which includes the chair and a pair of sensors for rotational tracking. If you want the rotating Cable Magazine to prevent the headset cord from wrapping around you, that will be another $150. Roto VR also offers a variety of accessories that increase the price of the chair by hundreds of dollars. If you’re interested in all of the accessories, the Total Roto VR package is currently $1,499 after a $125 pre-order discount.