Attempting to take VR mainstream.
The original Oculus Rift was a good proof of concept- it’s a fantastic VR headset, especially when paired with the Oculus Touch controllers, and it shows the potential of VR pretty well. The problem, of course, is that it is ridiculously expensive, and it needs a high end PC to run at all, to which it also needs to be tethered at all times- adding to the costs and inaccessibility.
However, it sounds like Facebook and Oculus have been working on a new model that will address all these failings, in an attempt to make VR more mass market. According to Bloomberg, it sounds as though the new headset, codenamed “Pacific”, will be a more compact version of the Oculus Rift, lighter than even Gear VR. It will have a similar interface to a Gear VR, and will be controlled using a wireless remote. It will be standalone, and powered by a Qualcomm chip, with its power put somewhere between Gear and Rift. It will have no positional tracking, either.
The set is due to launch in 2018, with content makers being briefed on it later this year. It sounds like an interesting proposition- though the question of whether or not such stripped down VR actually even has merits as a medium to begin with remains. It will be interesting to see what Facebook does, that is for sure.