Facebook's Oculus Tries To Find 'Sweet Spot' with New VR Headset

Facebook's Oculus Tries To Find 'Sweet Spot' with New VR Headset

The Oculus Go will also come with a handset similar to the Samsung Gear's remote to supposedly allow developers to build Oculus Go and Gear VR simultaneously.

"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. The other reason is that the new VR headset will work independently without requiring external connections.

If Rift games aren't majorly compromised on Santa Cruz's hardware, like Barra suggests, developers might simply aim future games at slightly lower specs - a strategy that would also work well for Microsoft's upcoming Windows Mixed Reality lineup, which is designed for lower-end PCs.

First off, the base unit Oculus headset is now $399, a price that includes the (once) very expensive (and amazing) Touch controllers.

They haven't rolled out any news about the breadth of software one can expect from the device, but I can only imagine that with the constant comparisons to the Gear VR that you likely won't be seeing any noteworthy VR titles from the Oculus Store or Steam VR's catalog make an appearance on the $199 device. Spark in VR allows remote workers to meet and communicate in virtual environments using avatars, allowing them to brainstorm on virtual whiteboards and interact with files.

Benjamin Schachter, an analyst at Macquarie Capital, says Facebook and others need to develop better apps in order for VR to become mainstream. But VR has hoped for more than a cult-following: it's aimed at the mass audience. His visions carry weight, largely because Facebook now has more than 2 billion users and plays an influential role in how people communicate.

The headset features 3DOF, granting users three-dimensions of freedom, moving in and out of space, along with lateral and vertical tracking. Go is supposed to run Gear VR games nearly seamlessly, and Carmack encouraged developers to avoid building Go-only games.

The Oculus Go will straddle the market between the Rift and the Samsung Gear, a $129 headset that runs on some of Samsung's higher-priced phones.

Oculus has partnered with Cisco for trials of a VR version of Spark, its collaboration platform that supports messaging, voice calls and video conversations.

Oculus Go UK release date: When's it coming out?