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Groundbreaking Oculus Rift virtual-reality glasses delayed

It isn't easy being in high demand. Just ask the people behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles. The head-mounted gaming glasses — which immerse players into their digital gaming environments in an extraordinarily vivid way — have proven to be such a popular item with game developers that the creators have had to delay their arrival by several months.This summer, Oculus VR kicked
Game developers will have to wait a bit longer to get their Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles.Oculus VR

It isn't easy being in high demand. Just ask the people behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles. The head-mounted gaming glasses — which immerse players into their digital gaming environments in an extraordinarily vivid way — have proven to be such a popular item with game developers that the creators have had to delay their arrival by several months.

This summer, Oculus VR kicked off a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of the Oculus Rift headsets and the development kit that goes with them.

Though the consumer version of Oculus Rift will not arrive until some unspecified date in the future, game developers who donated $300 or more to the project via the crowd-funding site were told they would receive a pair of the goggles and the dev kit to work with them come December.

But as Palmer Luckey — founder of Oculus VR — explained via a Kickstarter update on Wednesday, the demand for the virtual reality headset has been far greater than they expected.

"We hoped to sell a few hundred kits to game developers and virtual reality enthusiasts around the world," he explained. "Instead, we were blown away by the overwhelming response from a community of almost 10,000 backers, who raised nearly $2.5 million dollars to help us develop the Oculus Rift."

Ultimately, the team says they have "been up against the wall" trying to get more than 7,500 goggles and dev kits into developer hands. But a number of factors have made it so they will now begin shipping them in March.

Luckey and team go into great detail in the update explaining to their funders exactly why the goggles have been delayed and the changes that have been made. One of the problems: The 5.6-inch display that the original Oculus Rift prototypes were using are no longer available. Instead, they have had to switch to a 7-inch display. But the good news is, "the new display beats the old display in almost every key area including response time, switching time, contrast and color quality."

While you're waiting to get your hands on this gadget (or rather, to put this gadget on your head), you can check out new images of the goggles posted in the Kickstarter update here. Meanwhile, Luckey and his team have released a new video showing off what their goggles will be able do. 

And be sure to check out InGame editor Todd Kenreck's early impression of the Oculus Rift below (hint: he really liked what he saw).

Winda Benedetti writes about video games for NBC News. You can follow her tweets about games and other things on Twitter here @WindaBenedetti and you can follow her on Google+. Meanwhile, be sure to check out the IN-GAME FACEBOOK PAGE to discuss the day's gaming news and reviews.