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Since acquiring Oculus, the virtual reality pioneer, in 2014, Facebook has been pushing to bring VR to the masses. It plans on launching a cheap wireless VR device by 2018, according to Bloomberg. Their main aim being to bridge the gap between high end expensive VR used for gaming and the cheap VR sets that link to smartphones.
An Oculus spokesperson stated that while they are not ready with such a device at the present moment, but they are making significant technology investments in the standalone VR category.
Facebook’s upcoming VR set is set to be priced as little as $200 without the requirement of tethering it to high end pricey computers, smartphones and other devices. In complete contrast, Facebook’s current VR set, the Oculus Rift is priced at $400 and requires connecting to a pricey desktop computer. The new VR set is seen as a solution to the lack luster performance of the Oculus Rift which was launched last year and has seen poor sales ever since. One of the reasons for the lack of interest in VR sets could be because of the steep pricing of the devices. Facebook slashed the price of the Oculus Rift to $400 recently, making it the cheapest, high-end VR set in the market.
The launch of an inexpensive VR bundle is just another part of Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s push to VR. In 2016, he also announced that Facebook would invest $250 million in companies and developers to create virtual reality content like games and movies.
Other VR Devices in the Market at the Present
VR is slowly gaining a lot of popularity with a number of devices now in the market. The HTC Vive works with a desktop PC and Sony’s PlayStation VR works with the PlayStation. For Mobile VR, there is the Samsung Gear VR, the newly launched Daydream view by Google, and the Google Cardboard. Windows is also reportedly working on launching a VR device in the later half of 2017. Google is also working with Lenovo and HTC to launch standalone Daydream headsets which will launch later this year.
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