Oculus Rift is having a bit of a hard time at present, lagging way behind the otherr VR headsets in terms of sales, andthe price of the unit has been slashed in recent weeks. Speculation is that a new version of the headset maybe on the way and Bloomberg are reporting exactly that.
They report that the new headset will be unveiled this year, it will be wireless, will cost around $200, and here’s the biggie – it won’t need a PC or smartphone.
Code-named “Pacific,” the device resembles a more compact version of the Rift and will be lighter than Samsung’s Gear VR headset, one of the people said. The device’s design and features aren’t finalized and could still change, but the idea is that someone will be able to pull the headset out of their bag and watch movies on a flight just the way you can now with a phone or tablet.
Bloomberg are a well respected institution and wouldn’t report this news if they didn’t have good sources, so let’s assume that this new headset is real. There are a lot of questions; How is it powered? How does it stay cool? How on earth are they jamming in tech powerful enough to run VR in to a headset and keep the price at $200?
Well that latter question has one simple answer: Facebook. The company has billions to spend and could feasibly sell these new headsets at a huge loss just so they can build Facebook as the main VR platform and from there recoup the money through advertising.
Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi is said to be producing the device with a Snapdragon mobile chip from Qualcomm powering the headset. Unlike the Rift it will not feature positional tracking but that is planned for later versions, sources report. It is said that developers will be briefed on the new headset by October.