Facebook Promises Budget Oculus Headset

Facebook Promises Budget Oculus Headset
Facebook's Oculus is working on an inexpensive virtual reality headset to compete with Google, Sony, and Samsung.

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(CCM) — Virtual reality headset-maker Oculus VR has a new, lower cost headset in the works that won't require a powerful computer to power it and that should appeal to the mass market, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has announced. Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion back in July 2014. The announcement is an implicit acknowledgement that the current Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is too expensive to make a significant impact on a market that is becoming increasingly competitive. Earlier this week, Google unveiled its phone-powered Daydream VR headset, and next week, Sony is scheduled to launch its virtual reality headset offering, called PlayStation VR, which will be powered by its PlayStation 4 game console. Facebook made no announcement about when the lower cost Oculus headset would become available.

The Oculus Rift VR headset competes at the top of the market with HTC's Vive, both of which cost at least $600 and require an expensive computer with a fast graphics processing unit (GPU) to power them. A lower-cost Oculus headset would likely compete in the middle of the market with Google's and Sony's devices as well as other brands' headsets, such as the Samsung Gear VR. Research company IDC predicts that 9.6 million VR headsets will be sold this year, rising to 64.8 million by 2020.

Image: © Oculus VR.