After Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus back in July (for a hefty $2 BILLION), some gamers were left wondering what the future of the company’s flagship VR headset would be. Well, following yesterday’s ‘Oculus Connect’ presentation, we now have an idea of what’s coming, thanks to an announcement made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
At the event, Zuckerberg announced the planned release of a low-cost, stand-alone virtual reality headset that the company is calling ‘Oculus Go’. The announcement called the headset an “all-in-one” and “accessible” piece of VR equipment, and that it is part of a collaborative effort between Facebook and Oculus to get one billion people into VR. The headset is set to ship in early 2018, will retail for $199 USD, and (according to the Facebook CEO) the Oculus Go will not require a separate PC or mobile device in order to use it.
Along with the Oculus Connect presentation, there was an official announcement posted on the company’s Twitter account. The tweet calls the headset, “The easiest way to experience VR”.
Hugo Barra, the head of VR over at Oculus, also made a statement about the Oculus Go. Calling it the “sweet spot” between PC and mobile VR experiences, and describing the headset as both “super lightweight”, as well as “a leap in both comfort and visual clarity”. Barra also went on to say that audio drivers would be “built right into the headset”, making “getting in and out of VR much faster and easier to share with another person”.
For those curious about the hardware itself, Mr. Barra has stated that the Oculus Go is set to include a fast-switch WQHD LCD display, which will have a resolution of 2560×1440. The headset will also have integrated audio, and lenses with reduced glare. Those lenses are also said to have the same wide field of view as the Rift (Oculus’s previous foray into VR headsets). While there is currently no information available on battery life or other specifications, we do know that dev kits are set to ship in November of 2017.
The Oculus Go headset is said to be compatible with all current Samsung Gear VR titles, effectively expanding Facebook’s reach into the virtual reality realm. In addition, the controller also provides the same inputs as the Samsung Gear VR, so those who’ve used the Gear will not have too steep of a learning curve, it seems.
While the headset is not set to ship until 2018, Oculus has also stated in their announcement that those who have any projects in development for which they would like to add Oculus Go support, they can request early access to the headset by filling out a request form for the system. However, the folks over at Oculus have also stressed that supplies are “very limited”, so those who want the early access should get those forms filled out as soon as possible.
Tell us your thoughts on the Oculus Go, dear readers! What do you think of the headset, and are you planning on getting one? Let us know in the comments below!