Facebook reveals new US$399 stand-alone virtual reality headset, Quest

27 September, 2018, 11:52 | Author: Larry Hoffman
  • CREDIT Courtesy of Facebook

With a more affordable price and no need for a pricey PC, Oculus is hoping to get 10 million people invested in its ecosystem, at which point, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says Oculus should become a self sustaining platform that will generate profit for devs while also keeping the company's VR platform rich with content.

Instead of relying on external trackers like the Oculus Rift, the Oculus Quest's inside-out tracking system can monitor your position from within the headset itself.

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The new $399 Oculus Quest headset unveiled at the Facebook unit's developer conference is being aimed at gamers seeking immersion in virtual worlds, with other potential applications likely in the future.

Oculus touted the possibility of "arena-scale" VR experiences, but the possibility of multi-room VR, along with warnings for players drifting too close to walls or furniture, can help developers break out of the box of VR design.

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Originally codenamed Santa Cruz, the Quest is the high-end, standalone VR headset it's been teasing since 2016. It also comes with built-in audio like the Go, but there's no mention if it will also come with a 3.5mm jack like the Go if you want to use your own headphones. Notably absent was the Gear VR headset, which was created through a partnership with Samsung and Oculus. It will ship with 50 plus launch titles and Oculus Touch controllers.

Oculus Quest (previously codenamed Santa Cruz) is similar to the Oculus Go launched a year ago in that it's an entirely self-contained solution, with no need for an external device like a PC or phone. That means no wires, no computer connectivity, and no additional components required. There are tracking issues to be solved, the configuration takes a fair bit of room, and it's very much a first-generation type of solution.

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The advent of wireless VR with higher performance and better visuals is an easy "gimme", except for the overall level of sustainable graphics performance and the inevitable impact on visuals and battery life. However, we aren't exactly sure what hardware is powering the Oculus Quest to accomplish this.

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