We reported earlier this week on Facebook’s decision to cut $100 off the cost of an Oculus Rift in order to juice sales of its virtual-reality headset. Now the social network appears to be preparing an even bigger move for 2018.
Bloomberg claimed yesterday that Facebook is preparing to “unveil a cheaper, wireless device that the company is betting will popularise VR the way Apple did the smartphone”.
The wireless angle is important here: the current Oculus Rift has to be ‘tethered’ to a PC, which along with the price has made it less popular than headsets like Samsung’s (Oculus-powered) Gear VR, which uses a smartphone as its computer and screen combined.
“Facebook’s new headset is designed to bridge the gap – a device that will sell for as little as $200 and need not be tethered to a PC or phone,” claimed Bloomberg.
“Like current Oculus products, the new headset will be geared toward immersive gaming, watching video and social networking… the idea is that someone will be able to pull the headset out of their bag and watch movies on a flight just the way you can now with a phone or tablet.”
The new device is expected to be unveiled later this year, and may well provide a platform for some inventive music/VR experiences in 2018.