Facebook is reportedly all set to introduce a standalone version of its virtual reality (VR) headset called the Oculus Go at the upcoming f8 developer conference scheduled to occur on May 1. According to a new report from Variety, which cited several sources briefed on the plan, developers were able to take a glimpse of the standalone VR headset last year, with the prototypes looking like they were ready for shipment to the general consumers.
The Oculus Go was first announced during the Menlo Park, California-based company’s fourth developer conference in October last year with a retail price of $199. As a standalone VR headset, it does not require to be tethered to a computer or a smartphone as the headgear is built to work more like an all-in-one VR tool that offers direct access to VR content through the Oculus ecosystem sans any additional hardware, though it comes with a physical controller. Access to a vast selection of VR content will be supported by the headset’s 32GB of native storage for the basic version, while a 64GB storage space will be available with the pricier variant, recent rumors indicate. In January of this year, the VR headset passed through the Federal Communications Commission, with two different model numbers appearing on the agency’s website and each corresponding with a particular onboard storage configuration.
One of the advantages of a standalone VR headset is the lower cost compared to the premium variant like the Oculus Rift, though Oculus Go doesn’t use a positional tracking system like the former, which makes the latter less immersive in terms of the VR experience. That means users are likely to miss out on some of the premium features offered by higher-end version, including the eye-tracking functionality. The Oculus Go is built using breathable fabrics and features adjustable straps. It’s also equipped with what Oculus describes as the “best lenses yet.” It’s worth mentioning that the Oculus Go will be manufactured by Xiaomi through a partnership between the Chinese firm and Oculus that was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 in Las Vegas, though the device did not make its debut at the event. It remains unclear why Facebook won’t roll out the headgear until May.