Is a standalone virtual reality headset truly what’s needed to drive mass adoption on the high-end? Oculus will soon find out.
The Facebook-owned VR specialist last week introduced the Oculus Go, a wireless, standalone product that will start at $199 and ship early next year.
The Go is the follow-up to the Rift, a more expensive headset that needs to be tethered to a high-power PC.
Oculus is also powering Samsung’s Gear VR, a headset that must be paired to a compatible smartphone. Oculus is prepping for a race, as Google is also nearing the launch of a standalone VR design that runs its Daydream platform and will be built by CE partners such as HTC and Lenovo.
Not every company is so enthused about the VR hardware market amid sluggish consumer demand. Intel last month confirmed it had scrapped plans for Project Alloy, a standalone “merged reality” headset hardware design introduced in 2016, and Nokia has halted development on its Ozo-branded VR cameras and associated hardware.
Oculus stresses that the Go will be lightweight, thanks in part to a new fabric for the facial interface, and that it will reduce the “screen-door effect” of early-generation models by using a high-resolution, fast-switch LCD screen to increase visual clarity.