Facebook and Oculus have big plans for VR technology next year. According to Bloomberg, the companies plans to unveil a cheaper standalone VR headset.
VR devices currently live in a niche market with only 2.3 million devices being shipped in the first quarter of 2017. Unlike the mobile market which shipped 2.3 million devices. However, Facebook plans to change that with a new device they will be unveiling later this year.
Supposedly the new device, codenamed Pacific, will sell for as little as $200 and does not need another device to function. The idea is that this device would be the kind that someone could pull it out of their bag and watch a movie on a flight or plane the same way people do that with phones currently.
At an Oculus developer conference last year, Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg spoke of a “sweet spot” for a device that exists between the Gear VR and Oculus’ Rift.
Oculus plans to enlist a Chinese company, Xiaomi, to help with the manufacturing process. Partnering with the company will help them with global distribution. Hugo Barra the new man put in charge of Oculus’s VR products was previously a Xiaomi executive.
Supposedly, the new device will be powered by a Snapdragon mobile chip from Qualcomm. The device’s ability to play games will be better than that of the Samsung Gear VR. However, the new device will not have positional tracking technology; that will come in a later version of the new device after its launch.
Last year, we took a look at the best that virtual reality gaming has to offer. If you’re interested in seeing the highlights of last year’s games, check it out here.
The new device is expected to launch in 2018 so it will miss out on this year’s holiday season. The $200 price tag and Oculus’s reputation might give the new device the edge it needs to become a mainstay in the new VR market.