Oculus VR is at its Connect 4 conference in San Jose, California, where it has announced a new VR headset.
More specifically, Oculus announced a standalone VR headset. Called Oculus Go, it is designed to sit between mobile VR, like what you'd get with the Gear VR headset, and high-end headsets that require a PC, such as the Oculus Rift. The Oculus Go will be available for developers to use from November 2017, while the rest of us will have to wait until next year to get our hands on it.
No phone or PC required
Oculus executive Hugo Barra described the headset as way to enable VR for everyday use. There's no phone or PC required, and it's much more affordable when compared to existing VR headsets on the market. Keep in mind that moments earlier, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg said that he has a goal to get one billion people using VR, as he and the team at Oculus believe it's the future.
LCD display, integrated audio, and positional tracking
The Oculus Go has a mesh fabric, as well as a soft elastic strap, and all-new optical design, with lenses that are the same next generation ones found on Oculus Rift. So, it has the same wide field of view as the Rift, but with significantly reduced glare. Other features include a "fast-switch LCD" display with WQHD 2560X1440 resolution and an integrated spatial audio experience.
That means the audio drivers are built in. There's also built-in cameras, which use computer vision to determine positional tracking.
Cotroller and apps
Barra said apps built for the Gear VR will be compatible with the Oculus Go. It also uses a controller that’s similar to the Gear VR’s remote, meaning developers can easily build experiences for Oculus Go and the Gear VR at the same time.
Different from Santa Cruz
Mind you, Oculus Go had been rumored prior to Oculus Connect, as Facebook had already announced a Santa Cruz standalone prototype last year. However, the Oculus Go headset is very much different from that headset. For one, it doesn't seem to have inside-out tracking or motion controllers with full tracking. In other words, Santa Cruz is a separate, distinct product from Oculus Go.
Oculus Go will cost $199 when it launches in 2018. It's therefore cheaper than both the $199 Samsung Gear VR and $399 Oculus Rift.
Oculus Go, our first standalone VR product. Lightweight, superb visual clarity, integrated spatial audio, $199. Ships in 2018 pic.twitter.com/xBYoGGPoyB— Hugo Barra (@hbarra) October 11, 2017