A much more affordable Oculus VR headset is on its way
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Let's be honest: the Oculus Rift is a pretty neat piece of tech, but its high price puts it out the reach of most consumers except for the most hardcore PC gamers. Facebook knows that to make its VR headset go mainstream, it needs to lower the cost of entry. To this end, it is working on a new headset with a much smaller price tag which, according to Bloomberg, could arrive later this year.
This new Oculus headset is codenamed Pacific, and it is expected to retail for $200. That is less than half of what the current Rift device costs. Not only is the Pacific cheaper, but it is a standalone device too. That means no wires, no outside hardware, no clip-on phone-as-display; the Pacific does it all and does it at an affordable price.
Of course, at such a low price you can't expect this new headset to match the Rift in terms of power or the kinds of software it will run. The Rift is, after all, tethered to a powerful PC that provides the processing for intensive games and other applications. Still, Facebook wants the Pacific to be a gaming, viewing, and social platform, which means that there should be no shortage of new apps specifically tailored to the new headset.
Although Facebook has not provided specific details on the Pacific, rumors point to a Snapdragon chipset being used inside the device. PCMag states that the Pacific will not include positional tracking, which isn't surprising given the amount of compromises that likely are being made to keep the headset's price low.
As mentioned above, the Oculus Pacific may arrive by the end of this year, but don't expect to go on sale until 2018.