Oculus made a few announcements at their developer conference, Oculus Connect including their first standalone headset, Oculus Go, updates to their Santa Cruz prototype and more.
The Oculus Go is the company’s first standalone VR headset. The headset is super lightweight and made from a new fabric that is both soft and breathable. The headset doesn’t require a computer to use, think of it like if the Gear VR had a phone built into it, that’s essentially what the Oculus Go is.
There’s a high-resolution fast-switch LCD display that will help with better clarity and a reduced screen door effect. The headset also features Oculus’ next-generation of lenses to offer a wider field of view.
You’ll also find integrated spatial audio with speakers built right into the headset. You can also use your own headphones using the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Oculus Go is compatible with Gear VR apps and vice-versa since they use the same controller input. The Oculus Go will retail for $199 USD and ships in early 2018. Oculus Go dev kits will be available in November.
Project Santa Cruz
Last year, Oculus showed off their untethered VR headset with Project Santa Cruz. The prototype had a full-blown mobile computer strapped to the back of a headset, so then you have the feeling of freedom while in VR.
This year, Oculus introduced two positionally tracked controllers for their Project Santa Cruz. These controllers and the Project’s headset use inside-out tracking, so all the sensors required are built into the headset itself.
Oculus hasn’t said if/when the final version of their Project Santa Cruz headset and controllers will be available.
Oculus Rift price drop
Oculus is also permanently lowering the price of their Oculus Rift bundle to $529 CAD ($399 USD). Each bundle comes with the Oculus Rift, Touch controllers, sensors and six free apps including Robo Recall.
Rift Core 2.0
Oculus announced Rift Core 2.0 which is a complete overhaul of Rift’s core experience. The new update is more powerful and more intuitive than before.
Included in Rift Core 2.0 are two new systems, Dash and a redesigned Home.
Dash is a new system interface that puts all of Rift’s existing menus and UI into a central area and is accessible from anywhere in VR and works well with Oculus Touch.
Dash is more of an overlay inside your VR experience, you’ll be able to switch from one app to another, open your library, talk to friends and use other parts of your PC.
With the redesigned Oculus Home, you’ll be able to completely customize it to fit your personality and style.
You’ll be able to customize your Home with toys, furniture, artwork and more. Rift Core 2.0 will be coming in December 2017 as a beta.
Oculus also announced brand new Oculus Avatars that are coming in early 2018. You’ll be able to customize your Avatar’s skin, hair and more. Oculus will also be adding lip-synced mouth movement to Avatars.
The Oculus Store will be getting a new Explore tab to help users discover new apps and games. There is even a new Explore API for Gear VR developers. Explore will be coming to Oculus Rift in 2018.
Oculus has also introduced Mixed Reality Capture which combines real-world footage with in-game capture.
Mixed Reality Capture is available now in Unity and Unreal.
Oculus for Business
Oculus also announced Oculus for Business, which is a new Oculus Rift bundle designed just for business. The bundle comes with the Oculus Rift, Touch controllers, three sensors and three face cushions. These bundles will retail for $900 USD.
You’ll also get dedicated customer support, special extended licenses and warranties to help set up and deploy VR systems. The bundles can be ordered individually or in bulk at oculus.com/business.
Oculus has also partnered with companies such as Audi to allow customers worldwide to build their dream car to their liking in a more immersive way.