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posted by Fnord666 on Thursday October 12, @05:49AM   Printer-friendly
from the go-go-gadget-VR dept.

Facebook is attempting to make virtual reality a mainstream product, and hopes to reach one billion VR users "one day":

In its continued effort to take virtual reality mainstream, Facebook has announced Oculus Go - a standalone headset that will be released in 2018. Mark Zuckerberg said the device, priced at $199, would be the "most accessible VR experience ever".

Sales of the company's VR hardware have been slow since launching the first Oculus Rift headset in March 2016. "If VR doesn't go mass market at this price point, I think we can conclude that it never will," said John Delaney, an analyst with IDC. Facebook's previous budget VR product, Gear VR, is $129, but requires a high-end Samsung smartphone in order to work. Speaking at Facebook's yearly virtual reality developers conference in San Jose, Mr Zuckerberg acknowledged the slow adoption of the technology to date. But he said his company's goal was that one day, it would get one billion people into VR.

The headset is a standalone device that does not require a smartphone, headphones, or tether to a desktop computer. The high-end Oculus Rift headset has had its price cut to $400 (for good).

Oculus Go is not being sold anytime soon, and the Oculus blog warns that "Oculus Go is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until [FCC] authorization is obtained". Facebook says that the devices will be sent to developers within the next 12 months. Specs and battery details are also unknown (maybe they need to use one of these for you to feel safe strapping it to your head).

Also at Washington Post and TechCrunch. Oculus Blog.

Previously: Google Partnering With HTC and Lenovo for Standalone VR Headsets
Virtual Reality Audiences Stare Straight Ahead 75% of the Time
Google Bisects VR
Facebook/Oculus Reportedly Working on $200 Standalone VR Headset


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  • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Thursday October 12, @06:39AM (6 children)

    by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <{jmorris} {at} {beau.org}> on Thursday October 12, @06:39AM (#581004)

    So nobody could develop any compelling content for the expensive one that had a lot of computing power, good sensors to help avoid blowing chow, etc. So lowering the price and selling a crappier, underpowered unit is the solution to what problem exactly?

    This tech is not ready for prime time, that is the bottom line. There simply aren't any applications compelling enough to justify the investment of time and energy. There isn't much you can implement until they can solve the problem of a lack of any sort of meaningful user interaction. Just watching stuff in VR is not enough of an improvement for most content to make it worth producing it. They have enough trouble selling 3D outside of tentpole films (i.e. filmed in 3D vs converted) exhibited in a good theater. 3D TVs are just about gone from retail.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by looorg on Thursday October 12, @06:50AM

    by looorg (578) on Thursday October 12, @06:50AM (#581006)

    I suspect that they have to balance it so that they reach the mainstream VR-p0rn market, but they just don't want to come out and say that for various reasons. If that market takes off they might have the next VCR/VHS golden ticket in their hands.

  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday October 12, @07:09AM (2 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 12, @07:09AM (#581014)

    So lowering the price and selling a crappier, underpowered unit is the solution to what problem exactly?

    You weren't paying attention, were you? TFS makes the problem clear:

    his company's goal was that one day, it would get one billion people into VR

    Nothing else matters. Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five [theonion.com]

    The market? Listen, we make the market. All we have to do is put her out there with a little jingle. It's as easy as, "Hey, shaving with anything less than five blades is like scraping your beard off with a dull hatchet." Or "You'll be so smooth, I could snort lines off of your chin." Try "Your neck is going to be so friggin' soft, someone's gonna walk up and tie a goddamn Cub Scout kerchief under it."

    I know what you're thinking now: What'll people say? Mew mew mew. Oh, no, what will people say?! Grow the fuck up. When you're on top, people talk. That's the price you pay for being on top. Which Gillette is, always has been, and forever shall be, Amen, five blades, sweet Jesus in heaven.

    Stop. I just had a stroke of genius. Are you ready? Open your mouth, baby birds, cause Mama's about to drop you one sweet, fat nightcrawler. Here she comes: Put another aloe strip on that fucker, too. That's right. Five blades, two strips...

    Seriously, you don't believe it?
    It's called Gillette Fusion now with lubrication BEFORE and after the blades [gillette.com.au]

    Now, do you get what the problem is?

    • (Score: 2) by looorg on Thursday October 12, @07:13AM (1 child)

      by looorg (578) on Thursday October 12, @07:13AM (#581017)

      It's called Gillette Fusion now with lubrication BEFORE and after the blades [gillette.com.au]

      Damn. I clearly have not kept up with shaving-technology.

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @09:23AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @09:23AM (#581045)

        It's sex tech. The razer applies lube so you can shave and be to ready to go an instant later. There's an underaged blackmarket for the razers with the blades removed. This way you can just slide it across your skin and you're all lubed up without having to get you hands greasy nor do you need to worry about little cuts.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by LoRdTAW on Thursday October 12, @11:56AM (1 child)

    by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 12, @11:56AM (#581086) Journal

    So lowering the price and selling a crappier, underpowered unit is the solution to what problem exactly?

    It's the solution to Facebook's fantasy of trapping people in a Matrix like environment of advertisement and data mining sold as cutting edge entertainment.