Facebook has announced that it plans to launch a new virtual reality headset called the Oculus Go VR through which it plans to achieve its target of 1 billion VR users.
The social media giant’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the upcoming Oculus Go VR on Wednesday, revealing that it will be available in the market in 2018. He pointed out that the VR device would represent Facebook’s push into the mass market for VR with and even revealed the ambitious plan of achieving 1 billion VR users in the near future.
The upcoming Oculus Go headset will be priced at $200 which is significantly lower than the other VR headsets in the market. This aligns with the social media giant’s plan to make it affordable to the masses. It is also an interesting departure from the more expensive Oculus Rift headset which spearheaded the VR movement. However, it carries a higher price tag at more than $400 making it well beyond the reach of many people.
The affordable price tag is part of Facebook’s strategy to make the Oculus Go VR headset more appealing to the masses in addition to making it independent. The VR headset will reportedly avoid the common scenario where VR headsets have to be powered by a smartphone or a PC. It will be quite interesting to see how the social media giant tackles this issue.
VR has really not picked up as expected which means Facebook is taking quite a huge gamble especially considering that there are not many uses for VR and that it has not really risen to a lot of popularity since it started making headlines. However, it has been argued that virtual reality and augmented reality are still in their early stages and that things will get a lot better. Perhaps Facebook’s agenda is to spearhead the next phase of VR to give it that push that will make it more mainstream.
Facebook is however not the only company that has tried this approach. Samsung also launched the Gear VR but it never really gained much traction. Perhaps this was because it has to be powered by a handset. Meanwhile, the social media giant is not the only company that is looking to take VR to the next level. Microsoft has also invested heavily in the concept of affordable VR headsets. Perhaps the winner of the VR will be determined by software rather than hardware. Facebook’s social media platforms could be the key to helping the company its goal of 1 billion VR users.