Oculus Reportedly Planning to Launch a $200 Standalone VR Headset in 2018
Image courtesy of: Oculus
Oculus and its parent company Facebook are reportedly planning to release a new standalone virtual reality headset next year that is designed to bridge the gap between affordable headsets like the Gear VR and the high-end Oculus Rift, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
Sources familiar with the plans tell Bloomberg that the new headset—codenamed ‘Pacific’—will be completely wireless and not require tethering to a PC or smartphone to work. It’s also said to look like a “more compact” version of the Rift, while even weighing lighter than the Gear VR and cost around $200 when it ships sometime in 2018.
Oculus reportedly plans to use Chinese tech company Xiaomi to produce the new headset and is expected to be powered by a Snapdragon mobile processor from Qualcomm, which will make it more graphically superior than the Gear VR. However, unlike the more powerful Oculus Rift, this version will not include positional tracking technology.
“We don’t have a product to unveil at this time, however, we can confirm that we’re making several significant technology investments in the standalone VR category,” said an Oculus spokesperson, regarding the report. “This is in addition to our commitment to high-end VR products like Oculus Rift and mobile phone products like Gear VR.”
In addition to the new ‘Pacific’ headset, Oculus is also working on another standalone prototype code-named ‘Santa Cruz’, which the company showed off at last year’s Connect 3 event. ‘Santa Cruz’ is still in early development and will offer similar capabilities to Oculus Rift, but without needing to connect it to a computer.
By Oculus introducing a new standalone headset at an affordable price, the company believes its efforts will attract a much broader audience that will play a big factor in driving mainstream adoption of virtual reality. Recently, the company temporarily reduced the price of its Rift headset and Touch controller bundle to $399 with the aim of encouraging as many people as possible to jump into the Rift and experience high-end VR at a low cost.