Facebook is going to ship a standalone VR headset called Oculus Go next year. The headset, which won’t require a PC or phone to run, will be available early next year for $199.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially announced the new product during his keynote speech at Facebook’s fourth Oculus Connect virtual reality ( VR ) developer conference in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, where he framed the device as an important step toward bringing VR to the masses.
“We want to get a billion people in virtual reality,” said Zuckerberg, and Facebook VP of VR Hugo Barra went on to call it ” hands-down the easiest way to get people into VR.”
Barra announced that the company had developed custom lenses for the headset, which allow for a wide field of view. The display is a fast-switch LCD screen with a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels, and it comes with integrated headphones. The company will be shipping first headsets to developers in November, and then sell it to consumers early next year.
Oculus Go will ship with a handheld controller and work with the same apps available on Samsung’s Gear VR headset. However, it won’t have any positional tracking, which means that high-end VR apps available on the Oculus Rift headset won’t run on the device.
On that front, Oculus is also continuing its work on a high-end standalone headset. Zuckerberg showed off a first prototype of the wireless headset at last year’s Oculus Connect conference. The headset was then known under the code name “Santa Cruz.”
On Wednesday, Zuckerberg said that the company will be shipping developer versions of this high-end standalone headset some time next year. This likely means that it won’t be available to consumers until the end of the year, or possibly 2019.
Barra also previewed a new generation of controllers for this standalone high-end headset. These controllers, which are still prototypes, feature an integrated touch pad as well as integrated LED lights for hand tracking.
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