Facebook announces $199 Oculus Go standalone VR headset

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to get a billion people to live and play in VR.

But the company won’t get there with premium VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, which require expensive gaming PCs. Mobile VR headsets like the Gear VR are nice, but they don’t offer the same immersion.

Facebook’s solution? Oculus Go, an all-in-one standalone VR headset that doesn’t require a smartphone. The headset’s only $199 and shipping early next year.

Oculus Go resembles the Rift, except it’s white. Oculus Go sits in-between the Rift and the Gear VR.

Zuckerberg says standalone VR headsets like the Go are the “sweet spot” for VR. Go’s affordability makes it super attractive, but it’s really just a Gear VR that doesn’t require you to insert a phone. The VR experience is closer to a mobile VR one.

Facebook’s head of VR Hugo Barra said the headset is super light and made of a foam layer that conforms to your face.

Go ships with a new custom optical lens design. It has the same wide field-of-view as the Rift and improved WQHD 2,560 x 1,440 LCD lenses, which Barra say is better than OLED screen

Go also ships with a controller that’s similar to the Gear VR’s controller. It has a touchpad and a trigger button>

The headset also comes with built-in spatial audio, which means you don’t need to attach any clunky headphones or earbuds. The audio system also lets others hear what you’re listening to… if you want other people to even know what you’re doing in VR.

Best of all, Oculus Go is binary with the Gear VR. In other words, VR apps that already work with Gear VR will work out of the box with the Go. That’s important because it means the Go will have lots of content right at launch.

Developer kits for the Oculus Go ship in November. Facebook’s full Oculus VR family now includes four headsets: Gear VR, Oculus Go, Santa Cruz, and the Rift:

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