Facebook announces $199 Oculus Go, drops core Oculus bundle to $399 permanently

Facebook has announced that it’s once again dropping the price of the Oculus Rift: The device-with-headset bundle will fall from $499 to $399, making permanent the “temporary” price reduction seen this past summer and following another large drop down from $600 in March, a price tag analysts pegged at the time as way too high.

But in perhaps even more intriguing news, Facebook’s announced the Oculus Go, a new headset supposedly in the “sweet spot” between the existing Rift and competitors like Samsung’s Gear VR. Shipping in November, it’ll run just under 200 bucks.

“We want to get a billion people in virtual reality,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says.

Source: Gamasutra, Slashdot. Thanks, Sally!
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56 Comments on "Facebook announces $199 Oculus Go, drops core Oculus bundle to $399 permanently"

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Johnny

I just can’t support anything Facebook related. I’m sure sometimes I slip up and use a product associated with them, but I do my best not to. I’ve been waiting for PCVR headsets to drop to a reasonable price for me, but I can wait it out longer. To me, the Oculus is simply not an option.

flyingltj
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flyingltj

Until Facebook and Oculus can keep their nose out of American politics… not a single penny of my money will go to either one of them.

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rafael12104

Pretty much par for the course for maturing tech isn’t it? Cutting edge profiteering is over, prices drop, mainstream purchases begin.

I think it bodes will for VR in general. 3D TVs never made it this far, and now they are nothing but a shrug and a frown by tech junkies who bought in early.

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Arktouros

Yes and no.

In an effort to keep the costs and hassles low what has been the trade off? For example with PSVR there’s some very severe limitations that become apparent as you get into games. The most recent example of which is SkyrimVR where you have to navigate down a stairwell but end up having a very odd experience of teleport forward, turn left, teleport forward, turn left, etc. It’s just very weird because you can’t just naturally turn as you stand there because the tracking doesn’t allow for it.

So a lot of these “mainstream” VR products are untested in those fields. While we know tracking solutions like the Vive are outstanding how will consumers react if they throw down $200 for the headset and $100 for the controllers only to find it’s a sub-par experience? When people think VR after that they will associate with that shitty experience even if there are other products that provide actually good experiences.

And that is what kills technologies. It’s not the prices. It’s about the experience being sold and we’re years off from having a high quality, lower cost experience that’s actually good. This is just a race to the bottom in an attempt to grab marketshare so people say “Oculus” instead of “VR” like people say “Kleenex” instead of “Tissue Paper.”

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Necromonger

Isnt VR for porn ?

I have yet to see a masterpiece VR game.

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Melissa McDonald

Vanishing Realms might impress you. It’s a graphically nice dungeon crawler (1st person of course, it’s VR). But you have to actually swing your sword, reach down into chests to pull the treasure out, etc., do things in the VR space just like you’d do in real, it’s a great glimpse of what VR MMOs will be like in the future.

Here’s a peek: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nr98lHZj7I

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Johnny

Wow… that looks terrible. All for one reason. I hate the teleporting BS. Can’t stand it.

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PhoenixDfire

Most of the Best VR games are ‘Sit Down’ ones. i.e. in a driving seat or a cockpit. The best of which is Elite:Dangerous (no surprise there). However, I will say that Robo Recall is an absolute blast. Because you’re movement is tracked very well, it feels very immersive.

It’s funnier for people watching the players in Robo Recall because the majority of the people who tried it out where overweight engineers who were trying to do ‘Matrix’ Style evasive moves. I’ll just leave that image in your head. ;-)

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donvweel

Latest steam hardware surveys show htc vive on top, occulus follow, nobody shows using samsung.
http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey?platform=pc

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Jack Pipsam

If I was to try a VR it would be a Samsung due to their price and less faff required.

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Melissa McDonald

Because it was just bloody announced/reviewed mere days ago.

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donvweel

They may have a new model but they have been selling VR since November 2015 and have yet to get any market share. Good luck to them. They need the money to get their CEO out of jail. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung_Gear_VR

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Melissa McDonald

OK now I know you’re just trolling, or ignorant. First of all, Gear VR is in the Oculus ecosystem and isn’t a Steam VR compatible platform.

Samsung has sold over 5 million Gear VR units (that was from June 2017).

Got any other technologies you’d like to debunk? Electric cars? Electric shavers? Electric toothbrushes? (“Quint” from JAWS accent).

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Arktouros

Race to the bottom.

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Sray

One of the biggest barriers for VR adoption on the PC is cryptocurrency mining. The GPUs required for VR are being snapped up by miners before gamers can get their hands on them, meaning that virtually no one is selling GPUs at MSRP, driving the price of a VR capable PC into the $800-1000 (USD) price range (before evening accounting for things like keyboard, mouse, monitor, and the VR set up). And the the guy who’s taking the gamble on buying used parts (miners are hard on GPUs) is unlikely to be shelling out $400 on a VR set up.

The Occulus Go is an interesting product that they might have more luck with, but let’s face it: low end VR rigs like Gear VR, Daydream, and now Occulus Go tend to get used primarily for one thing, and it’s not gaming or Facebook. And the price tag of $200 USD for a niche single purpose item is still pretty high.

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Melissa McDonald

A quick search on Newegg and Tiger Direct show no shortage of high-end video cards. Clearly you’re a cryptocurrency enthusiast, however.

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thalendor

Sray is pretty much correct here. And while it’s a moving target, the last I read anything about it crypto-currency mining was driving up the price of midranged cards the most… things like the GTX 1060/1070 and, even more so, similar offerings from AMD. Those are exactly the sort of cards that someone looking for an entry-level VR-capable machine is going to go for. In some cases, it’s been extreme enough that the author of one article “saw one GTX 1070 selling for as much as $850, which would be enough to buy you a far more powerful (for gaming) 1080 Ti and still save money”. That is, admittedly, the extreme case, but if you’re looking to build a VR-capable machine on a budget, it still hurts none-the-less.

And for the record, I am not at all a crypto-currency enthusiast; I prefer stable, government-backed currencies that are widely accepted by vendors operating in my area. I just follow what’s going on in the world of GPUs, which means I can’t totally ignore what’s happening with crypto-currency either.

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Melissa McDonald

Again, not true. I just did some price checks online. You guys evidently haven’t done any shopping before opining.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i just bought and built a new pc. it’s pretty obvious from the store pages that nothing is selling for MSRP right now.

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Sray

I never said there was a shortage of the cards: I said miners are purchasing them up first and driving up prices, thus high end video cards are selling well above MSRP. Even cards like the GTX 1060 are generally selling well above MSRP: if you’re willing to pay $450 to $500 for a $350 card, you can easily get it. The real cost of a VR capable PC is anywhere from $100 to $300 USD higher than what MSRP should be because of miners driving up prices on the cards, and that creates a barrier to entry before even factoring the cost of peripherals.

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Melissa McDonald

Sounds impressive, but simply isn’t true. Newegg has a spanking hot GTX 1080 for just $499.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125908&cm_re=GTX_1080-_-14-125-908-_-Product

TigerDirect has a 1060 card for just $279
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3963385&CatId=11972

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Bannex

THE FUTURE!!!!!!

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Reselect Name

It needs games.

There is no point in buying gaming hardware that has no games.

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Lateris Ablon

There are lots of games for PCVR on oculus rift or steam do you even have a VR headset

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Veldan

Yeah, but what kind of games? Do you have any games you think are awesome in VR? Don’t say Valkyrie, we all know about that.

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Lateris Ablon

Cool, not a problem, but make note that the game I cannot mention(LOL) is actually a ton of fun for me from a sci-fi perspective. I play Eve Online. I absolutely love the New Eden Universe, so the lobby dog fighter and the feel of it in VR is very fun for me. Eve in VR, not made for VR.

So here is my list that I play. :) on my I7, Nvidia 970 GTX. I mod my graphics at about 1.5.

I will upgrade to Pascal at some point which feature more graphic effects…as always with Nvidia lol. But the game I cannot mention also implements upgrades for the 970- users at the same time for Pascal users and so forth.

Ark-needs improvements
Robo Call
Star Trek Bridge Crew- multiplayer- one of my favs. I tried being a captain and I sucked lol.
Elite Dangerous (Space games are so immersive in VR for me)
Quil
Rip coil
Alteration
Mine craft ( I support the MC Java Community and really hate how MS has gouged the community)
Batman Arkham VR- it is amazing to play as the Dark Knight but this game is too short and leaves you wanting more hours. But you feel so immersed.
Echo Arena
The Mages Tale
Gun heart
Lone Echo
Solus
The Climb
Multiple apps to watch movies, desktop for windows, community apps.
Virtual Desktop- app not as game but really fun

You can also play Steam VR games with the Rift. I actually prefer the steam VR living room over the Rifts.

I wait on sales for the games on the Rift. I also owned Elite Dangerous prior and was able to import the codes into Steam and the Rift. Space games seem to be the most amazing feel for me. If you use Steam you can see about 102 pages of VR which is a mix of Games, Demos, DLC, on sale items for in game items, and Apps.

There are a lot of opportunities for more games but they exist.

Does it need better games, absolutely! But the fun is already out there. My friend uses the Play Station VR and I am unaware of the their lineup. Do we need a good MMORPG in VR. I would like that with a mix of Augmented reality to apply./ Cheerio!

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Alex Js.

Still way too much for a gimmicky device which is only necessary to view some very short, simplistic “VR demos” with. No AAA-grade games requiring this = worthless hardware.

Even outside of the gaming the Oculus’ googles are still pretty useless – drone manufacturers like DJI have their own “VR goggles” for flying (with proprietary features like proprietary wireless connection) and there aren’t many “VR goggles”-enabled porn videos to make it worth buying ;-)

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Lateris Ablon

Dude, go into a Microsoft store and try the rift or the Vive on a PC. I used to feel the same until I tried the top of the line devices.

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Melissa McDonald

I’m sure you ridiculed the first large, walkie-talkie-shaped cellular phones, too.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

As you should. It shows VR still has a lot of improvment to be done to convince people. I would have ridiculed those ridiculous cell phones as well at the time. Mobility with a huge chunk of plastic? Laughable.

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Schmidt.Capela

Keep in mind that the alternative was landlines (i.e., not only you couldn’t receive any calls when not in your home or office, you had to find a public phone to make a call), beepers (a small mobile device that just ringed, you needed to find a phone and call the operator to find who had called you), and pagers (an improved beeper, though still only capable of receiving, with a message display whose best models could show a message slightly larger than a tweet, and they couldn’t store many of those).

So, yeah, for many people the early cellphones were an incredibly useful despite their large size and short battery time. Being able to make and receive calls anywhere — something we take for granted now — could save hours, which did mater a lot when you were on the clock.

This, BTW, is one of the reasons the current crop of VR devices lacks impact. Cellphones were used in a fundamentally different way than what existed before; with the current VR gear, not so much, as they are a mere evolution of the older devices — smaller, cheaper, more comfortable, but ultimately with very similar capabilities. Businesses that had a strong use case for VR were already using it back when HMDs cost thousands of dollars, so the newer, cheaper HMDs don’t bring new “revolutionary” business use cases.

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Melissa McDonald

“my cell phone sucks”

“no, it doesn’t. your cell phone is amazing. it’s a miracle of technology. it’s your life that sucks.” – Louis CK

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Lateris Ablon

I can tell you right now through owning an oculus rift and using it on the vr games on my PC such as eve valkyrie , it’s a wonderful experience that changes how one plays video games on a PC. But you have to come from actually having experienced it to describe it…I don’t mean to sound corny but it has changed my whole PC gaming experience for the better

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Melissa McDonald

It’s certainly true that nobody can be “told” about VR. It’s like the Matrix. You have to experience it for yourself.

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Danny Smith

Oh hey! for the price of a New 2ds XL i can pick one of these up for such must play killer apps like….

uh…

Gimme a minute.

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zeko_rena

I already have a lot more game I play on my DK2 then I would on a 2DS XL

:O

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Lateris Ablon

So you really have no real world experience with VR on the PC

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Michael

Until VR becomes something offered as a standard thing with game consoles, tvs, ect. I honestly don’t really see the point. Especially considering that a lot of people still get sick from it and not all VR headsets cooperate well with glasses either.

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Lateris Ablon

I wear glasses and I need them to be able to read but I’m one of the lucky ones where once I put on my rift I don’t need my glasses, but I agree it does need to change and it really needs
to adapt to people who wear glasses. I would recommend going to a Microsoft store and if they have the Vive or the oculus rift to try it

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Melissa McDonald

I would expect it to be comparable to Gear VR and Daydream at that price point.

Bigger news is that Samsung’s new Odyssey VR visor that’s part of Microsoft’s “mixed reality” push (along with Lenovo, Dell, HP, Acer, and Asus) is getting a lot of attention due to its higher resolution than the other models (1440×1600 per eye), OLED screen (the others are all LCD),and up to 90hz refresh. One reviewer said “no screen door effect”, although I’d like to form my own opinions on that (And I would say that a good VR experience makes little details like that irrelevant).

Facebook is definitely finding itself losing market share, and driver’s seat to OEMs (who are making hardware just as good, if not better), and Microsoft (who is gathering together these OEMS in a software/hardware alliance that basically only Microsoft is capable of). So, Zuck is having to slash prices to stay relevant.

All of which is perfectly acceptable under a capitalist system, and ultimately benefits the consumers, with lower prices and better products, having to amp up their specs to be noticed among the competition. All good news. A year ago you wondered, Rift or Vive? PSVR? Now you’ve got more like 9 choices of relatively equal hardware capabilities…. and better ones coming.

And, the Microsoft partner visors are all compatible with Steam VR.

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Lateris Ablon

I have to wonder though because my guild has started buying oculus rift because of the price drop so I think you’re absolutely right I own a rift because of the price drop as well and I really enjoy it

Karma_Mule
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Karma_Mule

I decided to take the risk and order that new Samsung headset. Here’s hoping it lives up to the buzz…..

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zeko_rena

I hope you enjoy it, glad to hear you giving it a go!

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Veldan

Good news, but I wonder what the capabilities of this $199 device will be. They can’t be anything boundary-pushing.

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Melissa McDonald

Fair question, I think: Should a $199 device be “boundary-pushing”? That’s asking too much in virtually (pun intended) any technology arena.

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Jeff

Considering some of the games that are on the way this is awesome

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Fenna

with the crap content out there it’s still 394$ too expensive

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Robert Mann

$200 wouldn’t be too bad, but… content and other technological issues, much less headsets as they are being a problem? This isn’t going mainstream until those are addressed. Comfort and content are the biggest of those two, programs themselves will vary wildly on how well they deal with things like motion sickness.

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Greaterdivinity

From the bits I’ve seen, this conference makes Facebook almost seem desperate to get VR to start catching on.

Though I’ll say that if the Go can get a decent resolution it would be decent for video content, at least, though will still likely largely be pointless for gaming. It has to be better than Gear VR (which is complete dogshit, even on my S8), but that seems like a pretty tall ask given the price point.

Also, are “curved screens” really what we’re going for with VR UI’s? I can only hope that’s due to the more potentially interesting interfaces that break away from our standard monitor format led to bad experiences, but surely $2B in acquisition and years of engineers working on VR could create a more engaging and interesting UI than “curved, floating screens” : /

https://www.cnet.com/news/vr-virtual-reality-future-depends-on-you-buying-a-dorky-headset-oculus-zuckerberg-playstation-vive/

I did sorta enjoy this piece that went live yesterday, literally one day before OC4. I’m amused to see some tech media finally coming around to this notion and that they’ve finally stopped proclaiming every year to be the “YEAR OF VR”.

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Melissa McDonald

I love my Gear VR, I think it’s amazing what a smart phone and some plastic lenses can accomplish. I suppose we cancel each other out.

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Sally Bowls

“Desperate” might – or might not – be overstating it, but certainly strongly motivated.

http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-actually-paid-3-billion-for-oculus-vr-2017-1
So they paid 2B spent 1B on employees and lost a 0.5B lawsuit so a total of $3.5B motivated.

I have always maintained that was not primarily motivated by gaming.
———-
I know the User Input I want.

https://www.vrheads.com/every-voice-command-you-can-use-star-trek-bridge-crew

Facebook adds speech recognition to Oculus Rift, Gear VR

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Greaterdivinity

I have always maintained that was not primarily motivated by gaming.

I agree, but gaming is going to be a pretty big driver of content for a while as it’s going to be what pushes boundaries and tech forward more than say, traditional video content or something.

More interestingly though, I don’t think there’s a ton of super compelling non-gaming content, either. I know they announced a stupid “Oculus for Business” thing today and have said they’re partnering with companies like Audi to do “VR test drives” and to be able to see your “customized” car in VR before you buy it but…really? Is that really that compelling of an offering for consumers?

It just feels like they’re trying to force VR everywhere and on everything. It makes sense from their perspective as a business, they want a return on the pretty big investment they’ve made into VR, but practically it’s pretty ludicrous to me : /

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zeko_rena

Good to hear!
Wonder what the specs will be of the $200 version

Now if I could just find a way around the import tax in New Zealand on the Oculus I would snap one up!

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Melissa McDonald

I could be quite wrong, but I think it’s easy enough to predict. 1440p per eye, LCD screens, 105-degree FOV, WiFi, perhaps room scale sensors on the visor (since the Microsoft Bunch all feature that).

I believe this is Oculus making their own Gear VR, since Samsung has decided to make their own Rift (higher end product) in the Odyssey VR headset just announced a week or so ago.

Some tit for tat going on there.

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Schmidt.Capela

The Odyssey is, for me, a far more interesting device because it’s an AR headset. Meaning it can be used to superimpose computer images over the real world, thanks to its two high resolution cameras.

While I don’t see myself having much use for VR, I do see quite a few interesting applications for AR. And I’m not talking about games.

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Tobasco da Gama

A $200 standalone VR device is very interesting.

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