Facebook bets on mobile VR: I'm not taking the bait

Facebook bets on mobile VR: I'm not taking the bait

Facebook (FB) dropped $2 billion to acquire virtual reality platform Oculus in 2014.

For the people who aren't in a headset, Facebook made a decision to drop in 3D Posts, a native media type in News Feed that gives everyone the ability to share content created inside VR.

Today at Facebook and Oculus' event, Oculus Connect, it was announced that the Oculus Rift + Touch bundle would be permanently slashed down to an impressive $399.

VR has been the greatest thing for Facebook as of late, however. Sure, it's fun to look at 360-degree photos or short video clips on the Gear VR with a Samsung phone, but there isn't a real compelling reason to plop down $400 plus the price of a gaming computer for VR.

As reported at the time, a new standalone headset priced at $199 will debut in early 2018.

If you're looking to buy the headset itself, the best bet will doubtless be some of the various bundles, which tend to include the headset, the PlayStation Camera (which you need to run the headset), and a game or two.

Oculus Go will also come with integrated speakers but it will stil have a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

The Gear competes against other headsets, such as Google's $99 Daydream View, that require a smartphone.

In the United Kingdom, some hospices caring for end-of-life patients with terminal illnesses are experimenting with VR headsets to transport their patients back to familiar areas and give them relief from the walls of healthcare units, and in a recent interview, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer said the technology may also one day be applied to air travel, "because it's way better than the back-of-the-seat monitor or my phone".

Back when I had a Note 4 I also bought the Gear VR, and it was one of the most wonderful experiences ever.

Project Santa Cruz, a fully 6DOF, positionally tracked headset got updated - which include fully tracked controllers that enable hand presence in the standalone form factor. "Opening up more of those experiences to more of us - that's not isolating, that's freeing". Oculus Go will start shipping to consumers probably next year. There's no must-have app There's no must-have app that's pulling people into the Rift or VR. "Without a cable or the need for a mobile phone, standalone headsets represent a totally new phase of VR hardware", the company said on Wednesday. Games themselves are also likely to enjoy discounts, so check out Steam and Green Man Gaming.

Soon to be launched, Oculus Venues will let you watch concerts and catch premieres of new movies and TV shows with up to 1,000 people.



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