Facebook Inc Announces $199 Oculus Go to Take VR Mainstream

Laverne Mann
October 14, 2017

This is the virtual reality helmet the more accessible financially than the firm has ever put on the market.

"We estimate Facebook will spend $36 billion on R&D over the next three years (2018-2020)", Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures, said in a blog. But its power, as far as we know, is more on the level of a Gear VR. The CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, after realizing that his company's headsets are too exorbitant, on Wednesday he revealed how the problem could be resolved.

"A lot of them seem maybe too insane or complex at the start", Zuckerberg said at the conference.

Facebook will ship the new device development kits to developers next month.

The Oculus Go lowers the VR asking price to a paltry $199. It's made of a lightweight fabric, comes with integrated spatial audio - so others can hear what you're hearing, if you want them to - and will be fully compatible with all Samsung Gear VR apps.

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Facebook bought Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion and paid another $1 billion for employee retention bonuses and other deals.

The social media giant has invested enormously in virtual reality hardware. Those figures include headsets for what is known as augmented reality.

Oculus has partnered with Cisco for trials of a VR version of Spark, its collaboration platform that supports messaging, voice calls and video conversations. The last VR system wasn't a hit, and its sales reflected it. Analysts say that this might be the Facebook's last chance to launch a VR if the public doesn't appreciate it. At the Oculus conference, Facebook disclosed a partnership with game developer Respawn Entertainment, the developer behind "Titanfall".

Announcing the device at the Oculus Connect 4 event, Facebook-owned Oculus said that the new standalone headset category would bring "more freedom and accessibility to VR". That compares with $599 for HTC's Vive.

"Our first standalone product is "Oculus Go" - the easiest way to jump into VR". "The device and price point will allow them to move away from relying on phone manufacturers". The Go's $199 price does make the Gear VR's $129 plastic shell look a little expensive, but Barra noted that the latter is often sold at a discount or bundled for free with preorders.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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