Since 2016, Facebook has launched new virtual reality (VR) hardware each year – apart from 2017 – and if recent reports are to be believed that trend may continue in 2020. The company is reportedly beginning ‘mass production’ of a new headset towards the end of July.
A recent article from the Nikkei Asian Review on Facebook and Sony increasing production output for VR headsets and PlayStation 5 respectively also mentions Facebook’s plans to start production on an as-yet-unnamed device.
A source for the Nikkei Asian Review is quoted as saying: “Compared with the declining smartphone market, VR is still a nascent market but we see strong growth for this year and more and more companies are coming into the arena. The production forecast for the second half of this year could reach at least two million units, which is already around 1.5 times more than its total production output last year. The new Facebook Oculus VR headset will enter mass production around the end of July.”
VRFocus reported back in May that the company was supposedly working on a smaller, lighter version of the Oculus Quest; the current model is a little front heavy. Whether this relates to the earlier ‘Del Mar’ headset is still unknown.
It’s no secret Facebook is working on newer headsets which are smaller with an improved form factor. Facebook Reality Lab Chief Scientist Michael Abrash revealed during Oculus Connect 6 (OC6) last year two prototypes called Half Dome 2 and Half Dome 3. Not only do they look less bulky than the Oculus Rift S but they come with two varifocal enhancements, Half Dome 2 with mechanically driven displays while the Half Dome 3 has an electronic varifocal mechanism.
If there is a new headset going into production it’ll likely be similar to what Facebook did with Oculus Rift, creating an ‘S’ version with improved optics and better weight distribution for more comfort. Facebook won’t likely reveal anything until OC7 which will be a digital-only event, expected to take place towards the end of September like previous years.
As further details are released, VRFocus will let you know.