This is how much the Oculus Rift will cost you

The VR starting pistol has been fired

If you've been champing at the bit waiting to buy your very own Oculus Rift, now is your chance: the pre-order page is live and you get a taste of next-generation virtual reality for $599/£499/AU$649 - that's before tax and shipping.

It's not cheap, but that price you also get two VR games bundled with the Rift headset to get you started, the space shooter EVE: Valkyrie and the 3D platformer Lucky's Tale. The Rift itself will ship in March [Update: the shipping price has slipped as purchases have risen. If you pre-order now, you won't get it until May].

Before you click the buy button, bear in mind the recommended PC specs for Rift compatibility.

What you don't get are the Touch controllers: Oculus engineers need a few more months to get everything right, so you're going to have to make do with the supplied Xbox One controller until the second half of the year.

Out of Touch

However, if you do pre-order the Rift, you also get a spot in the queue for the new controllers when they eventually go on sale.

Alternatively, you might want to wait for one of the other VR headsets launching this year: the HTC Vive or the Playstation VR. It's certainly going to be a busy year for virtual reality fans - if you're taking the plunge on a Rift let us know your reasons below.

Oh, and don't buy the Rift again if you backed it on Kickstarter - if you paid for a developer kit, you get the consumer edition free.