Facebook dropped a bombshell on the virtual reality world Wednesday: a $200 virtual reality headset that doesn’t require wires or a smartphone to work.
The headset might go a lengthy option to serving to Facebook get virtual reality into the arms of “a billion people” — a (timeframe-free) aim chief government Mark Zuckerberg set Wednesday at a builders convention hosted by its VR firm Oculus. Virtual reality has been a main focus for Facebook and different main tech companies corresponding to Microsoft and HTC, however shoppers haven’t been fairly as enthusiastic. The new headset, nevertheless, addresses two main issues analysts have stated stand in the best way of adoption: excessive costs and a difficult setup course of.
The worth of virtual reality headsets has continued to drop, making the know-how extra accessible to a number of individuals. Setting a $200 worth for a headset that doesn’t require any further gear, nevertheless, is a new landmark for the business.
The Oculus Go is about to ship early subsequent yr. It will have the ability to use all of the apps presently out there for the Gear VR, the Samsung and Oculus headset that requires a smartphone to work. Developers will be capable of get their palms on Oculus Go in November to make extra specialised packages for it.
Like the Gear VR, the Go is designed to be for lighter virtual reality experiences resembling 360-viewing or brief play periods. It may even ship with a controller that customers can maintain in a single hand, to level, poke or in any other case work together with the setting round them.
The Go gained’t be the one stand-alone headset from Oculus for lengthy. The firm additionally gave extra info on a product nicknamed Project Santa Cruz, which guarantees to supply high-end VR with out wires or the exterior trackers that VR customers presently need to arrange round their rooms. That gadget will ship to builders subsequent yr, however doesn’t but have a business launch date.
Facebook additionally introduced plans to introduce streaming 360-degree video to Oculus in addition to Facebook Spaces, the community’s “social VR” area that Zuckerberg controversially used to nearly tour Puerto Rico earlier this week.
The social community additionally stated that customers will now have the ability to create “3-D posts,” which allow you to embed three-dimensional drawings into your posts, which you’ll be able to then transfer round on display.
All of those options slowly articulate some great benefits of three-dimensional and virtual reality content material, which has its converts within the gaming world however has confronted a extra skeptical mainstream viewers that has but to see the worth.
Even evangelists acknowledge this isn’t going to occur in a single day. “The road to mass adoption is going to take a while,” stated Jason Rubin, Oculus’s vice chairman of content material, however issues are shifting quicker than he thought it might. “VR is just getting started. We’re going to double-down on that potential.”