At the 2016 Oculus Connect 3 developer conference at California’s San Jose McEnery Convention Center, the Facebook boss Mr. Zuckerberg reeled off some good news for the future of VR.
Along with announcing that Facebook Inc plan to invest $250M USD in the Oculus developer community, he introduced a new standalone Oculus VR headset.
The Oculus Rift as we know it provides an outstanding VR experience, but it has some obvious limitations: Firstly, It relies on a PC to power it which means it’s not exactly portable, despite the best efforts of companies like Zotac who are stuffing PCs into backpacks.
Then there’s the price, the Oculus rift currently has a price of $599, then there’s the optional Touch controllers which cost $199, but that’s not the half of it because you also need a super PC with the minerals to run the headset which will set you back another grand or so. Thus, high-end VR like the Oculus Rift is not a reality for many people.
The team at Oculus know this and have addressed it by lowering the minimum PC specs needed to run the Rift, this will bring the price of your VR PC down to around $499 – still pricey though when combined with the price of the headset and Touch controllers.
This reducing of PC specs as a result of Oculus’ Timewarp feature was also announced at the conference by the company’s CEO, Brendan Iribe.
In acknowledgement that Oculus could offer more and reach a wider audience, the company revealed their ambitions to bring a standalone Oculus VR headset using computer vision software for position tracking, and also room-scaling.
The new wireless headset which is in the prototype stage won’t need a smartphone like the Samsung Gear VR, or a PC to run it, instead it will offer self-contained, portable VR.
The resolution, refresh rate, field of view and other specs haven’t emerged, but it’s expected to be pretty high-end. No idea of the price or release date either.