Facebook Announces Oculus Go, a $199 Standalone VR Headset

Say goodbye to those sensor stands soon.                  Sarah Tew  CNET

Say goodbye to those sensor stands soon. Sarah Tew CNET

Overnight he pulled the wraps off a new VR headset - the Oculus GO - that he's banking on being the device to begin the march towards that lofty goal.

Gartner analyst Brian Blau said there's still one hurdle the Oculus Go will have to overcome.

The new headset will cost $200 compared to $400 for the Rift.

But is Oculus Go the affordable answer virtual reality has been waiting for?

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Unlike the Rift, the untethered nature of the Go means that it won't have the full tracking capabilities, but that can be a benefit as well since not everyone has a dedicated location they can leverage VR.

On that front, Oculus is also continuing its work on a high-end standalone headset. "And we need to make sure that VR is accessible to everyone".

This followed Zuckerberg's announcement that Oculus wants to get one billion people using its virtual reality products.

The Oculus Go will be priced at $199 and will be available in early 2018. Barra said Go features the next generation of Oculus Rift optical design, and allows for the same wide field of view while also reducing glare and the dreaded screen door effect. Created to rival mobile-powered devices such as Gear VR, Oculus Go will feature a "fast switch" WQHD 2560 x 1440 LCD screen as well as support for spatial audio.

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Oculus has shared minimal hardware details about the Oculus Go at this point. Gear VR and Oculus Go apps will be binary compatible, too, so that there'll be a healthy number of apps and other VR content available from the get-go.

Adding more fuel, in a blog post, Oculus described Go as, "awesome for watching movies or concerts, playing games, or just hanging out with your friends in VR". The Rift and Samsung's Gear VR-capable phones use OLED screens because of the faster refresh rate. The company will be shipping first headsets to developers in November, and then sell it to consumers early next year. The new headset was shown off with updated controllers, fittingly dubbed the Santa Cruz controllers.

Virtual Reality (VR), largely believed to be the next big platform for computing, has been stagnating.

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