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Facebook announces Oculus Go: its new virtual reality system

Facebook announces Oculus Go: its new virtual reality system

It is enabled of using all the applications that are available now for the Samsung, Oculus and Gear VR headset, which need a smartphone to work. The headset has a 2560 x 1440 screen, new lenses, and spatial audio which means users don't require headphones. At just $199, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called it "the most accessible VR headset yet". Dubbed as Oculus Go the device is priced at $200 (roughly Rs. 13,011) but the VR headset will go on sale only next year.

Oculus Go was first announced with an image, price point, and vague release window shown behind Zuckerberg on stage. That naturally leads to more mobility and freedom while allowing users to soak into the content with all the liberty that they can dream of.

However, virtual reality remains something of an acquired taste - many still have issues with motion sickness or headset discomfort, and the range of experiences on offer still need work.

Facebook, which owns Oculus, is trying to promote the expansion of virtual reality into wider areas such as business, health and social interaction.

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The Oculus Go is similar to the Daydream View in being made from technical fabrics, making it flexible and compatible with spectacles, it's expected to hit the market in early 2018.

Facebook is also switching on the ability to see comments when livestreaming from a Gear VR headset, while also adding live 360 video to Spaces. Thankfully there's also a 3.5mm headphone jack to privatise your VR experience, and avoid annoying the person next to you. Moreover, it supports the Gear VR library of apps. The Oculus Go also comes with orientation-tracked controller that has a trackpad on it.

The development kits for the Oculus Go will be shipping to developers in November. I talked to a couple of developers during Rift demos later, and both seemed confident about porting their games to Santa Cruz, with some optimization. And Valve isn't going to quietly let its vision of super-premium VR get displaced just because of the presence of a cable. Games on Santa-Cruz-style headsets will need the interaction and UX expertise from current 3x6dof devs, but they'll also need the technical expertise from current mobile VR devs.

Of course, the flagship feature of the Oculus Go that makes it stand out from the likes of Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR is that it doesn't require any additional power to provide VR experiences.

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