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New Oculus Go VR headset is standalone and just $199

Dump the PC, this new VR headset will work untethered

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Oculus is finally pulling the plug — from the PC that is — with a new standalone virtual reality headset expected early next year.

Tagged Oculus Go, the $199 device will have speakers built into its straps — Oculus called it "integrated spacial audio," but will sport a 3.5mm headphone jack for those who want to watch content more quietly.

Not only won't you need a PC to view VR content with Oculus Go, you won't need a phone either. But Oculus says that content developed for Gear VR will also work on its newest headset.

The $499 Oculus Rift has been one of the higher-end VR headsets on the consumer market. But Oculus has been rumored to be working on a lower end device — one more aligned to pricing of the $129 Gear VR. The cost of high-end VR headsets has been a hurdle for consumers who may be interested in experiencing virtual reality content, but aren't quite ready to spend the hundreds of dollars the more robust devices cost.

While lower-end VR headsets, those that are built on the Cardboard platform, are sometimes cheaper than a sandwich — the graphics and experience are far from the high-end devices. Pop-up spaces, like the IMAX VR Experience, can give consumers a chance to play a game or watch a short film in high-end VR for the price of a movie ticket. But for content makers and device manufacturers looking for wider adoption, a more affordable headset has thought to be needed.

Oculus Go is expected to ship in early 2018.


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