Oculus, the virtual reality company Facebook spent $2bn acquiring, has unveiled a standalone virtual reality (VR) headset that, it claims, will persuade one billion people to use the technology.
Oculus Go is pitched in what the company describes as the "sweet spot" of the market, between high-end VR headsets that require users to be hooked up to an expensive PC and cheaper models that need a smartphone connection in order to function, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who unveiled the device at the firm's annual VR developers conference on Wednesday
The all-in-one VR headset is designed to be accessible and is made up of "super lightweight" materials, including a new "soft and breathable" fabric for the facial interface.
Facebook vice president of VR Hugo Barra called the device "hands-down the easiest way for developers to get involved with VR and said it "feels incredibly soft to wear."
Elsewhere, the Oculus Go will a "fast-switch" WQHD LCD, lenses that offer the same wide field-of-view as the higher-end Rift, and built-in spatial audio so you don't need to hook up headphones to the device. However, there's also a 3.5mm headphone jack for private listening, or for when you're getting on your housemates' nerves.
"We believe Oculus Go will be the most accessible VR experience," Barra said.
The Oculus Go will be available next year starting from $199 (around £150, plus VAT).
Barra also shared more details about Project Santa Cruz, Facebook's prototype high-end device that claims to offer "the magic of a PC VR experience to an untethered form factor." Two positionally-tracked tracked controllers for the headset were shown off on Wednesday, with Facebook also announcing that it'll be available to developers next year.
Facebook also cut the cost of its existing Oculus Rift headset permanently to $399, which has so far played second best to HTC's Vive VR headset.
"We want to continue getting VR into more people's hands, so we're permanently lowering the price of Rift," Oculus said in a blog post.
"And more people in VR means more people to play, connect, and share with."
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