Oculus may cut the cord with $200 wireless VR headset

Facebook's Oculus cuts price of virtual reality set

Looking ahead, Facebook has tasked Oculus with building a self-contained VR headset that will retail for $200, Bloomberg reports. We've confirmed some details related to the story. Oculus is also rewriting the download store, so that it is natively accessible from the device. According to Bloomberg, the companies plans to unveil a cheaper standalone VR headset. But it seems Facebook is attempting yet again to make VR a thing.

If Facebook can get the new hardware right, it has some key advantages, including a vibrant ecosystem of downloadable VR games and apps, plus enthusiastic developers who gather in their thousands each year at the company's Oculus Connect conference.

Our sources familiar with the project led us to believe that the Qualcomm part of Bloomberg's story is true. The headset is said to be currently codenamed as "Pacific", and will look like a more compact version of the Rift, while still being lighter than the Gear VR. Among the latter include the Samsung Gear VR ($99.99), Google Cardboard ($16.99), and a handful of other headsets at price points in between.

Facebook said last year that it's working on a standalone, untethered version of the Oculus Rift, dubbed the "Santa Cruz" prototype. Instead, the SoC is inside the HMD itself; it's an entire closed system, and the "monitor" is the HMD's own display and optics.

Facebook and Oculus have big plans for VR technology next year.

Asked about the Pacific rumor, SuperData Research analyst Stefanie Llamas wrote, "They are losing the high-end PC race to HTC Vive, but have seen the massive potential from Gear VR's strong market lead". Buggy hardware, pricey headsets and insufficient content are all holding back mass adoption.

For most readers this videogame should need no introduction. That marketplace is projected to be accessible directly through the Pacific's interface, making it a totally standalone VR experience without requiring a computer like the first-generation Rift console.

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel's Game Dev program.

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