Facebook's Upcoming VR Device Probably Won't Address A Big Issue

Facebook's Upcoming VR Device Probably Won't Address A Big Issue

People familiar with Facebook's plans tell Bloomberg that the social media company is planning to unveil a cheaper, wireless Oculus VR headset before the end of the year. In essence, it will be something like Samsung's Gear VR but not tied to any specific hardware so could be used on both smartphones and gaming PCs, although the focus will be for PC usage.

Oculus is preparing to announce a new standalone VR headset which might be priced at $200 and will be shipped in 2018.

Back in the day available for $599 by itself, the Windows PC-connecting head-mounted display first dropped to $499 a few months ago. While the user streams his or her experiences, friends can watch on Facebook, react, and comment on your broadcast. The app store will also be accessible through the VR user interface, as well. "Whether you're touring exotic locations across the globe in 360, collaborating on a virtual marker masterpiece, or riffing on a viral video, the people who matter most to you can now follow along in real time on Facebook." added Booth.

Aside from the total cost of a VR setup, I think this is what is holding back the adoption of powerful VR units like the Rift, and the evidence seems to indicate as much. It will be standalone, and powered by a Qualcomm chip, with its power put somewhere between Gear and Rift. In March, Oculus dropped the price of the Rift bundle to $598 - a price $200 cheaper than its original release price.

Devices like the Pacific and Santa Cruz are steps in the right direction in tapping the full potential of the VR market.

Bloomberg say that Oculus intends to start briefing developers on the new headset as soon as October, ahead of the company's Oculus Connect 4 conference. HTC, which manufactures the High-end HTC Vive, had also announced earlier this year that it was developing a standalone VR device based on Google's Daydream platform. It can also be controlled by a wireless remote. The Touch control came out late in 2016 for a price of $199.