Facebook announces new Oculus Quest VR headset


Zuckerberg was at Oculus Connect to announce a new standalone VR headset called Oculus Quest.

But what should be especially interesting for VR developers is the headset's Insight system, which is promising more flexible headset tracking that creates possibilities for virtual reality experiences outside of the traditional roomscale size.

Oculus Quest, which comes with touch controllers and does not need a PC to operate, will be priced at $399, according to the company. Facebook bought Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion, and Zuckerberg has pledged to spend billions of dollars more on VR devices and investments in VR content companies.

Oculus today took the wraps off its brand new VR headset, the Oculus Quest. Building a computer that can handle most VR games for the foreseeable future as well as picking up the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive itself can reach prices well over $1000.

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The Quest is Oculus' play at taking VR mainstream. Its motion controllers are similar to (but not identical) to those used for Oculus Touch. This uses a combination of four ultra-wide-angle cameras in the headset and computer vision algorithms for tracking the user's exact position in real time without the need for external sensors.

Oculus Quest (previously codenamed Santa Cruz) is similar to the Oculus Go launched past year in that it's an entirely self-contained solution, with no need for an external device like a PC or phone.

Still, with more powerful standalone VR devices and more compelling VR media, Zuckerberg said he is "confident we're going to get there". On the one hand, it's not hard to see why - I own an Oculus Rift, and setting up the system and getting it running can be tedious at best.

Facebook once heavily promoted the smartphone-powered Gear VR headset, but appears to have shifted its attention to its Go headset as its preferred mobile VR device. At the very least, it offers a simpler, faster way to jump into gaming.