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Facebook Drops Game Changing $200 Standalone VR Set

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If you’re interested in VR, your options have generally been limited to expensive headsets that are designed to be connected to PCs or inexpensive, but less immersive, smartphone-based options. Now, a third option appears to be in the works as Facebook has announced a new standalone device called the Oculus Go.

As reported by Gizmodo, the new device is set to release in early 2018 and appears to fill the gap between the $400 Oculus Rift and less expensive options like the $100 Google Daydream of Samsung Gear VR.

The Oculus Go will feature a new fast-switch LCD display boasting a 2560 x 1440 resolution that should eliminate the lines people see between pixels, referred to as the screen door effect. Additionally, the screen should help reduce latency and lag as users move, ensuring the images better align with the person’s actions.

Users will also enjoy integrated special audio, giving the VR experience additional depth through the headset-based speakers. There will also be a 3.5mm audio jack available for those who prefer to use headphones.

Structurally, the Oculus Go should be more comfortable than other headsets thanks to new lightweight fabric and facial interface that is more breathable than current options.

The Oculus Go will have a strong app library, including all of the options available in the Samsung Gear VR library.

However, the announcement of the new product didn’t state whether Oculus Rift apps will also be compatible. This leaves some concerned about the Oculus Go experience as the current Samsung Gear VR apps largely won’t deliver the high-quality VR experience the Go is touting.

Further, additional details about the technical components involved have yet to be disclosed, so it is hard to determine what level of graphics and overall performance can be expected from the Oculus Go.

The Oculus Go was announced with at the $199 price point, falling firmly between smartphone based options and the more expensive PC versions on the market today.

Along with the Oculus Go announcement, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, also mentioned a prototype VR headset, codenamed Santa Cruz, which will include positionally tracked controllers that support up to six-degrees of motion.