Oculus' Santa Cruz Headset Will be Arriving Within the Year for Developers

Sean Hollister  CNET

Sean Hollister CNET

Oculus will release a low-priced, stand-alone virtual reality headset in 2018 called Oculus Go, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today at Oculus Connect. In the case of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the headsets plug directly into a powerful (often expensive) PC. Interestingly, Oculus claims that the headset+controller combo "bring the power of Rift and Touch to the standalone category". Facebook VP of VR Hugo Barra even declares it "hands-down the easiest way for developers" to get in with VR.

With Oculus Go, there is no external device required. The pricing of the headset promises to perk up the ears of the still-nascent VR headset market, though.

In true Facebook fashion, Zuckerberg said that he wants to get "1 billion people in virtual reality". So, it has the same wide field of view as the Rift, but with significantly reduced glare. The headset uses new lenses that are meant to reduce flare, coupled with a 2560x1440 "fast-switch" LCD screen that's meant to offer sharp text and visuals.

There's also built-in spatial audio, so you really are getting nearly everything in one package here. There's also built-in cameras, which use computer vision tech to determine positional tracking. The headset's also only $199 and shipping early next year. That'll apply to Oculus' next-generation controllers, too.

Facebook has just opened up another way into its VR ecosystem with its first standalone headset, Oculus Go.

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