Zuckerberg announces $199 Oculus Go as "sweet spot" standalone headset

Oculus Rift just gave a huge gift to the open-source VR world

That accessibility is where Oculus Go comes in.

In the summer Oculus announced a price drop for their Oculus Rift headset taking it to an astonishing $399 for the headset and controllers, around half the launch price of the bundle before the discount. The Oculus Go will allow you to spin around while in virtual reality but not move around freely. Coupled with a tether-free setup, the new Rift will make high-end VR experiences a lot less clunky and user friendly.

It's compatible with mobile apps and content produced for Samsung Gear VR, the smartphone that's optimized for Oculus. Widespread release will likely lag behind by a year or more, judging from the gaps between the release of the Oculus Rift DK1 in March 2013, the DK2 in July 2014, and the retail Rift headset in May 2015. The Oculus Go, however, is still more expensive than the Samsung Gear VR and Google's DayDream View, which are priced at $129 and $99.

The real kicker in the Go is it will act as a standalone unit. Known as Oculus Dash, the setup has been created to be a VR monitor, enabling you to check Facebook, watch fail videos on YouTube and even code, all from the infinite screen space of VR.

Mr Zuckerberg wants to tackle both of them with the Oculus Go.

Facebook didn't provide any details on how the Oculus Go will work, but said it will include built-in headphones for audio and have a LCD display.

Adding more fuel, in a blog post, Oculus described Go as, "awesome for watching movies or concerts, playing games, or just hanging out with your friends in VR".

But, without having tried Go as it isn't on display at Connect, the new headset does have the feeling of a stopgap measure, and a late one at that.

Still code-named Project Santa Cruz, the second generation Rift will feature on-board inside-out tracking, meaning the external sensors required by the original Rift will be built directly into the headset itself. The device will ship to consumers in 2018 while the developer kit will be available starting next month. Facebook is still trying to bring virtual reality into the mainstream, and hopes the new headset will help.

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