Oculus Plans on Releasing a $200 Standalone Headset in 2018 Claims Report
Code-named “Pacific,” the company doesn't have anything to showcase just yet.
The last few months have seen some major virtual reality (VR) announcements from companies like Microsoft, Google and HTC. But Facebook and its subsidiary Oculus have been fairly quiet, with barely any presence at the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which wasn’t the case in previous years. While Oculus hasn’t released official figures, those from research companies have put the Oculus Rift in last place among the big three. This week has seen it aggressively slash the cost of the PC-based head-mounted display (HMD), whilst at the same time new reports indicate development of a new standalone device that could be appearing next year.
In an article by Bloomberg Technology, the site reports that Oculus is working on a mid-level headset that will fill the gap between the entry level Samsung Gear VR and the high-end Oculus Rift. Currently code-named “Pacific,” this new device is supposedly a standalone unit, meaning it doesn’t require a PC or a smartphone as everything is processed on-board.
In a statement Oculus spokesman Alan Cooper said: “We don’t have a product to unveil at this time, however we can confirm we’re making several significant technology investments in the standalone VR category.”
So while the company isn’t yet ready to unveil what its headset may look like several other details were still available. Oculus plans on using Chinese company Xiaomi to build the HMD, which will be powered a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, and it’s said to be smaller than the Oculus Rift and lighter than Gear VR. It won’t include positional tracking technology so there’s a good possibility it may use a 3DoF controller like the one for Gear VR. The company is said to be unveiling the product later this year – most likely at Oculus Connect 4 in October – prior to a launch sometime in 2018.
This new headset is obviously different to Oculus’ ‘Santa Cruz’ prototype revealed at OC3, which is basically a wireless version of the Oculus Rift.
Standalone VR headsets are nothing new. Companies like Pico and its Pico Goblin headset are coming to market in that price range, and during Google I/O the tech giant announced an all-in-one device that would be made by HTC and Lenovo using the Daydream platform, which is due to arrive towards the end of this year.
As further details emerge, VRFocus will keep you updated.