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Zuckerberg announces £199 Oculus Go as "sweet spot" standalone VR headset

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Facebook is making access to VR cheaper with the Oculus Go

Users are wire-free and can spin around as they use it while interacting with their environment using the connected controller.

A report in July claimed that Facebook will unveil a $200 version of the Oculus Rift this year. The entire design has also been made lightweight as well.

There is no mention of the battery capacity and the Oculus Go doesn't have inside out tracking. The headset's high-resolution fast-switch LCD screen vastly improves visual clarity and reduces the so-called screen door effect, where the lines separating pixels become visible. There is also a 3.5-mm standard headphone jack for personal use.

Zuckerberg, though, remains convinced that VR will evolve into a technology that reshapes the way people interact and experience life, much as Facebook's social networks and smartphones already have.

Facebook has shaken up Oculus management team since then in a series of moves that included the departure of founder Palmer Luckey earlier this year. These included the support for 2D desktop Windows and customizable VR home space. There is also a trigger button in front and a wrist strap.

The development kits are being shipped in November and other details like the battery life on the headset and the other specifications are still to be divulged. According to Facebook's VP of VR, Hugo Barra, the standalone mobile headset feels "incredibly soft to wear", although we'll have to take him up on that when we get one in for review.

The mobile headset can be used without being connected to a computer or a mobile phone and will be cross-compatible with all of Samsung Gear VR's titles. But he tells The Verge it's "very representative" of where the company is going, and "realizable" as a consumer headset.

Go is created to be light and comfortable, said Hugo Barra, the executive in charge of virtual reality at Facebook. This is a permanent price reduction, not a temporary promotion, and also includes a touch controller. Initially, it felt like only tech demos were being released, but finally, there are a handful of proper games which are best experienced via a VR headset. Calling it Project Santa Cruz, Mark Zuckerberg said that the unit would ship in 2019.

Facebook's goal with the Santa Cruz headset is to deliver a high-end VR experience without the need to plug it into a PC.

However, the company wants to broaden awareness and interaction with VR interfaces by including 3D posts on ordinary Facebook newsfeeds.

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