At $199, Oculus Go is a bid to democratize VR

Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg took the stage at the Oculus Connect 4 conference to promise VR for the next billion people. It’s a hugely ambitious proposition. Sales of dedicated VR headsets are counted in hundreds of thousands, not hundreds of millions.

The sweet spot. The relatively-high price of the first generation of VR headsets – and their dependence on PCs or gaming consoles – has limited their appeal. At $199, the standalone Oculus Go could help bring VR closer to Zuckerberg’s grand vision.

Standalone VR Oculus Go sits in between the high-end, PC-connected Oculus Rift ($499) and the cheap, but basic Gear VR ($129). It’s fully standalone and it features its own high-res LCD displays, new lenses, built-in spatial audio (no headphones required), all in a lightweight mesh construction.

Don’t expect the best VR experience Oculus hasn’t revealed much about the innards of the Oculus Go, but it did say the device will be cross-compatible with Gear VR apps and games. Very likely, the headset will be powered by chips that are commonly used in smartphones, like the Snapdragon 835 SoC from Qualcomm.

Coming soon Developers will get the new Oculus Go from November, while customers will have to wait until early next year.

What about ‘Santa Cruz’? Last year, Oculus teased a high-end standalone VR headset codenamed Santa Cruz. That’s still coming, but it looks like it might take a while. Oculus told us to expect it sometime in the next year.

The full take: Read more about Oculus Go on

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