Following on from a report yesterday that said Oculus may be launching a $200 standalone virtual reality headset late this year, rumors now suggest that several headsets, capable of working with a connected PC or mobile, are currently in development.
Oculus is “exploring multiple options in a ‘spectrum’ of standalone devices for the future,” according to Ars Technica. The standalone devices will be sold in tandem with the Oculus Rift.
At least one of the device in development has “six degrees of freedom” full motion tracking, similar to the Santa Cruz prototype demoed at the Oculus Connect conference last year. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said inside-out tracking was “one of the most difficult computer science problems” only last year, so it seems unlikely that the company will have reached production stage this year.
The expansion of VR to mobiles has already propelled it to millions of customers that would have otherwise not tried it, but the technology is still niche when compared to mobiles and consoles. Oculus and Facebook obviously see cutting the cord as the next move to propel VR forward.
Oculus stands as the most well placed company to make the wireless headset and succeed. It has the technology, the marketplace, and the brand identity. Facebook also supplies it with enough cash to make the next VR headset — which will most likely be aimed at everyday consumers instead of enthusiasts — a loss leader, possibly lowering the price to that of a portable game console.
The field is starting to get crowded however, with Google and Samsung both reportedly working on wireless VR headsets.