Despite the technological leaps forward in virtual reality, VR headsets have not yet caught on with the mass market. That may have something to do with the better ones being prohibitively priced and requiring a connection to a computer, while the less expensive ones require you to use your phone for the screen. Facebook is hoping to finally hoping to bring VR to a bigger audience with Oculus Go, a headset with a moderately affordable price point and no need to purchase a powerful PC or kill the battery on your phone.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the $199 Go earlier today at the fourth Oculus developers conference. Much of what was announced today — the price point, the standalone nature — was really just confirming earlier rumors about the device.
According to Oculus, the device’s “high-resolution fast-switch LCD screen dramatically improves visual clarity and reduces screen door effect.
The Oculus Go has speakers with integrated spatial audio built into the headset, though there’s also a headphone jack for private listening. Facebook says the “best” of its mobile VR content library will be available when the devices start shipping in 2018.
On that note, the company didn’t offer up many more details about the ordering process, noting only that it “can’t wait to share more early next year.”
It’s worth noting that Oculus has also dropped the price of the Rift headset permanently, from $499 to $399, reports Ars Technica, after a successful promotion at that price this summer.