Rumors are afloat that Facebook is going to spin around the idea of turning its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset into a mass phenomenon once more. Mark Zuckerberg plans to launch a cheaper, wireless version that will apparently make it more mainstream and a darling of consumers.
Right now hardware that support VR are available in two separate flavours. One, the cheap third-party headsets which use the smartphones as VR players and the other type is the really high-end heavy duty gaming rigs, precisely what Facebook's $400 Oculus Rift is. However, the new Oculus headset is going to be neither of these. It will cost as less as $200, which is half of the price of Oculus Rift and will be a standalone model sans the need of a PC or smartphone. If the buzz is right, it will be shipped next year.
This new headset will also cater towards immersive gaming, social networking and everything that its predecessor did. It's being tinkered under code-name "Pacific". Reportedly, the device is a compact version of Oculus Rift and lighter than that of Samsung's Gear VR headset. It's going to be portable and easy to use, however, things are currently getting worked on. The output ouput may become a tad bit different but the core aspects will remain the same.
Moreover, rumors say that Facebook is planning to take help from Xiaomi and its network for manufacturers, to distribute this new headset globally. This device will have Oculus branding all over the world; except in China it will carry Xiaomi branding and run certain Xiaomi software applications. Apparently the man helming this affair is the erstwhile Xiaomi head, Hugo Barra - Talk about corporate handshakes and intricacies.
Facebook is going to make content makers aware of their new offing by October so that, they can create compatible applications and games for it before the big launch comes. Moreover, the download store will be re-written to facilitate a direct access from the VR interface of the new device.