The next generation of virtual reality headsets are going wireless.
It’s hoped that the headset’s relatively low cost will help Oculus attract lots more consumers.
The Go device fits into Oculus’s lineup between the $130 Gear, which needs to be paired with a Samsung Electronics Co. phone to run, and the Rift, which requires a personal computer.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg presented it as “the most accessible VR headset yet”, confirming that it will arrive to stores in 2018 at a price of $199.
Oculus is announcing a revamped Rift interface it refers to as Rift Core 2.0, which supports 2D desktop windows and a customizable VR home space.
Zuckerberg on Wednesday revealed how Facebook intends to address that problem, unveiling a stand-alone headset that won’t require plugging in a smartphone or a cord tethering it to a personal computer like the Oculus Rift headset does.
Facebook is expected to ship about 213,000 Rift systems this year, while HTC is expected to ship about 305,000 Vive systems, according to Super Data research.
By controlling the end-to-end experience, Facebook gets to tackle VR with a Cupertino-like approach to hardware that lets them avoid the headaches of Windows/Android and the OEMs that build for them.
The Go won’t be the only stand-alone headset from Oculus for long. Known as Oculus Dash, the setup has been created to be a VR monitor, enabling you to check Facebook, watch fail videos on YouTube and even code, all from the infinite screen space of VR.
But this week, Zuckerberg was criticized for his attempt at showing how VR could generate empathy. The stunt was widely panned and many considered it insensitive. The reality is, we all have limits to our reality – places we can’t go, people we can’t see, things we can’t do.
In 2014, Facebook paid billion to acquire Oculus and retain its employees.
Several of Facebook’s competitors are working on similar technologies.