Facebook announces launch of VR headset that needs no PC or phone

Posted October 14, 2017

On Wednesday, Facebook announced that it developed a new virtual reality system called Oculus Go, which the American company will launch on 2018.

While he works closely with the Rift team, he's also keenly aware of VR's evolution over the last five years as he's part of a small group of Oculus executives who helped create an enormous rush of interest in VR when they sold their startup to Facebook in 2014 for roughly $3 billion.

Oculus VR chief Hugo Barra has revealed that the Go features a fast-switch LCD display with an impressive 2560 x 1440 resolution which should remove some of the lag as you move, and should also negate the "screen door effect" present by many VR headsets on the market at the moment.

The Go was described by Zuckerberg as sitting in the "sweet spot" between PC VR and mobile VR and will likely spawn some interesting mid-range content both in the gaming market as well as other VR experiences.

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Oculus Go's exterior design appears to resemble Google's Daydream View VR headset.

At the time of writing, Oculus hasn't announced when the Oculus Go will hit United Kingdom shores.

The Oculus Rift was priced at $599, with controllers adding another $200 to the mix.

The Oculus Go will be available next year starting from $199 (around £150, plus VAT).

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Facebook has had to slash Oculus Rift pricing in an attempt to boost disappointing sales, one of the Oculus co-founders quit and Facebook had to pay out $500 million to settle a lawsuit filed against Oculus by a VR game development company.

"I am more committed than ever to the future of virtual reality", Zuckerberg reassured a crowd of computer programmers gathered in San Jose, California, for Oculus' annual conference.

Carmack admitted that Samsung, with its phone empire, can promote the Gear VR far better than Oculus can advertise a self-branded headset.

It's also a worthy competitor to those cheap VR headsets under Microsoft's new "Mixed Reality" umbrella. Spatial audio is built directly into the headset with the hopes of providing an immersive experience as you move around without the need for separate headphones. It will be a standalone headset and not require the use of smartphones or a computer.

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