People contemplating to buy a VR headset may want to hold off for a while longer. Oculus has announced they’re working on a standalone R headset, which is expected to be released somewhere in 2018. The price for this unit will be around US$200, which is well below the current Oculus Rift price. This is an interesting decision by the Facebook-owned company, as the competition in the standalone VR headset market is certainly heating up.
A Standalone VR Headset From Oculus For US$200
It is good to see companies such as Oculus listen to feedback from the VR community. A lot of people want cheaper headsets which do not require a powerful computer or smartphone to operate. Moreover, they want such hardware at affordable prices as well. The US$200 price target seems to be the sweet spot for Oculus in this regard. Although they do not have a prototype of this new headset available yet, they are working on coming up with a new product. At the same time, the company continues to focus on the Rift and the Gear VR as well.
The time for this decision is rather interesting, to say the least. Various companies are working on a standalone VR headset as we speak. Google seems to be the main competitor in this regard, although they target a US$350 price tag for the time being. If Oculus can deliver a competitive product for nearly half the price next year, things will get very interesting, to say the least.
According to Bloomberg, this new headset will be codenamed Pacific, although that has not been officially confirmed by Oculus. There will be no requirement for a smartphone to power the headset, as all components will be built into the headset itself. For the time being, we have no idea what type of hardware can be expected. The only thing we know is how the headset makes use of a wireless remote. We will keep an eye out for more specifics in the coming months, though.
Rest assured the world of standalone VR headsets will get very competitive over the coming years. That is beneficial to consumers all over the world, though. More affordable hardware with decent hardware under the hood will certainly introduce more people to virtual reality in the future. Do not expect this standalone VR headset to be on the same level as the Oculus Rift, though. People looking for the full experience may want to pick up that particular headset now that the price is still heavily discounted.
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