Oculus took the stage yesterday to unveil the latest version of its popular virtual reality headsets. And while it’s had a fair share of success in recent years, there have still been some barriers to entry. Notably, the base Oculus VR set has always been a pricey proposition for most consumers. Until this week.

Oculus Go was just announced with a 2018 arrival date, paired with a more affordable $199 price tag. With a simplified design that is all-inclusive, Oculus hopes this entry-level model will entice more users to enter the world of VR.

The new Oculus Go headset arrives as an upgrade to Samsung Gear with additional features like integrated speakers, but it still comes in less than the Rift which requires a tethered PC. Built-in cameras allow for orientational tracking, something that previously required more add-ons and sensors. Mark Zuckerberg is a believer, calling this the “most accessible VR headset ever.”

One of the first differences you’ll notice is the fabric outer shell. Unlike lower-priced sets, this allows Oculus Go to “comfortably conform” to the users face. Typically you’ll find a hard plastic shell on most alternatives, which can be heavier and uncomfortable after extended periods of use.

Inside you’ll find a 2560X1440 WQHD LCD display that allegedly has a higher pixel density than popular OLED displays. When used in tandem with the integrated spatial audio system, Oculus promises a VR experience that previously was not available in the sub-$200 market. Built-in audio drivers allow audio to travel outside of the headset if you’d like those around you to partake, or you can tune it for personal listening only.

Oculus Go shares the same controller output as Samsung’s Gear VR, so you’ll be able to leverage existing accessories that are on the market today. That also means that apps already on the market will be compatible with Oculus Go right off the bat. A controller will ship with this week’s new announcement.

Oculus promises that its new $199 Go VR Headset will be available for purchase in 2018. Developer kits are slated to start rolling out at the end of this year.

Pioneering the Frontier of VR: Introducing Oculus Go, Plus Santa Cruz Updates

Today we shared two significant milestones in one of our largest areas of development. Standalone is new category designed to bring more freedom and accessibility to VR. Without a cable or the need for a mobile phone, standalone headsets represent a totally new phase of VR hardware.

Our first standalone product is Oculus Go—the easiest way to jump into VR. It ships early next year, starting at $199 USD. It’s awesome for watching movies or concerts, playing games, or just hanging out with your friends in VR.

This all-in-one device makes VR more accessible than ever and represents a huge leap forward in comfort, visual clarity, and ease-of-use.

The headset is super lightweight, and the new fabric used for the facial interface is soft and breathable.

The high-resolution fast-switch LCD screen dramatically improves visual clarity and reduces screen door effect. And the next-generation lenses are our best ever—offering a wide field of view with significantly reduced glare.

Oculus Go also ships with integrated spatial audio. The speakers are built right into the headset, transporting you straight into VR and making the headset easy to share with someone else. If you need it, there’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack for private listening.

Gear VR and Oculus Go apps are binary compatible, and they share the same controller input set—that means developers building for Gear VR are already building for Oculus Go. As an added plus, the best of our mobile VR content library will be available to everyone on day one.

Oculus Go pushes the envelope of what’s possible at such an accessible price point, and we can’t wait to share more early next year.

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