Facebook Will Reportedly Launch a $200 Wireless Oculus VR Headset Next Year

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg uses a small drone and an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset during a keynote presentation at the social network's annual developers gathering in San Francisco

Mark Zuckerberg it is unknown the extent to which he suffers nausea while in VR

The standalone device is designed to bridge the gap between affordable headsets like the Gear VR and the high-end headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, selling for as little as $200 and operating completely independently. Adding further, we also know that the new headset is code-named as 'Pacific' and is said to be a more compact version of the Oculus Rift. The market for its VR headsets has been limited by a high price for the device ($600) and the need for it to be paired with a high-end, $1,000-plus PC. While the user streams his or her experiences, friends can watch on Facebook, react, and comment on your broadcast. This could all change, of course, but Facebook wants users to be able to access VR content anywhere, just like they would on a table or phone. However, as the jump in sales after the company made the Rift $200 cheaper indicates, interest in VR is still strong. Facebook acquired Oculus is working on a virtual reality gear which will not rely on a PC or a smartphone for tethering.

With the Pacific headset, Oculus is looking to make high-quality VR mainstream. For processing this headset will rely on a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC. Its 'gaming power' is said to be a step above the Gear VR units.

The headset - codenamed "Pacific" - will have a similar design to the company's leading product, the Rift. A future version of the device will have that capability, one of Bloomberg's insiders says. The Santa Cruz featured inside-out tracking, a common positional tracking method used in many VR headsets.

This is likely to be the 'sweet spot' referred to by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the Oculus Connect developers' show last year. It was also mentioned that it would be controlled it with a wireless remote. The device will reportedly carry the Xiaomi branding in China, with Bloomberg noting that former Xiaomi exec Hugo Barra was recently hired as Oculus' VR boss. Moreover, the download store will be re-written to facilitate a direct access from the VR interface of the new device.

Oculus has revealed a $100 retail price reduction once the sale concludes which means the Rift and Touch will cost a more reasonable $499.

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