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Facebook is working on a $200 wireless Oculus VR headset

2017-07-14 17:09 by
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Facebook is reportedly planning to launch a cheaper version of its Oculus Rift headset called Pacific. It will be more compact than the existing Oculus Rift ($499.99) and lighter than the Gear VR. The device is expected to go on sale next year with prices starting at around $200 and represents an entirely new category.

Currently VR hardware comes in two flavors: cheap headsets that turn smartphones into virtual reality players (like Samsung's $130 Gear VR) and high-end gaming rigs (like Facebook's $400 Oculus Rift) that hook up to $1,000-plus desktop computers. Facebook's new headset is designed to bridge the gap - a device that will sell for as little as $200 and need not be tethered to a PC or phone, according to people familiar with its development.

Oculus built its first prototype in 2010, back when it was still a Kickstarter-funded startup. In 2014, Facebook acquired the company for about $2 billion. Today the global market for VR headsets remains tiny. In the first quarter, hardware makers shipped 2.3 million of the devices, according to IDC, compared with 347 million smartphones. Buggy hardware, pricey headsets and insufficient content are all holding back mass adoption.

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