According to a new report out of Bloomberg, Facebook’s Oculus has partnered with Xiaomi and are currently developing a new VR headset that will only cost $200. The reason behind the low price is so Facebook can “popularize VR the way Apple did the smartphone.” This is obviously a big task to undertake, so let’s hope it pays off.
In the report, Bloomberg states the headset, codenamed “Pacific,” won’t be required to tether to a PC or smartphone to operate. All of the electronics to make virtual reality content playable will be built directly into the headset itself. This will differentiate itself from leading consumer VR solutions like Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s Daydream View.
As for the headset’s design, it’s reportedly a more compact version of the Rift and could be lighter than the Gear VR. Nothing is finalized just yet in this department, but Bloomberg notes the idea behind the design is so people can pull the headset out of their bag on the plane and begin watching movies. You never really see this in real life, so it should be interesting to see how effective this initiative will be on the market and how aggressively Facebook begins to push VR content.
Furthermore, the device will reportedly be powered by a Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm. And while it’s horsepower will be greater than that of the Gear VR, it won’t have positional tracking technology, the technology that enables a VR headset to identify where a user is in a room. However, a future generation of this Oculus headset will include the feature, according to Bloomberg‘s sources.
By October, Facebook is planning to begin briefing video game designers and developers so plenty of titles will be available at launch. Bloomberg says the headset will ship in 2018, therefore missing the 2017 holiday shopping season. However, considering it’s Oculus and the price will reportedly be just $200, this headset may appeal to consumers despite the fact it won’t launch at an ideal time. Of course, at this point, it looks like we’ve got a little while until we see this headset officially so stay tuned.