An un-named conglomerate of corporate drones came together to announce the upcoming release on the Oculus Rift Blog:
Since the earliest days of the Oculus Kickstarter, the Rift has been shaped by gamers, backers, developers, and enthusiasts around the world. Today, we’re incredibly excited to announce that the Oculus Rift will be shipping to consumers in Q1 2016, with pre-orders later this year.
Valve and HTC’s team-up VR headset is shipping out first, later this year. If developers use Valve’s OpenVR software instead of directly writing for the Rift we’ll be able to buy a headset from anyone whose hardware works with OpenVR rather than having to buy a specific headset from one manufacturer.