You won't need a PC to use the next Oculus VR headset, coming in 2018

oculus creating lower cost standalone vr headset booth ces 2015
Today, if you want to use an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, then you need a fairly potent PC to connect to it. All of the computing power resides in the PC, which makes the headset’s $400 or so price tag just part of the overall cost equation. And so far, it is that or go with an inexpensive smartphone add-on that does not provide nearly the same experience.

That is apparently changing in 2018, with Oculus working hard to create a $200 stand-alone wireless headset that does not require a dedicated PC to run, Bloomberg reports. The development should come as no surprise, as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — Facebook purchased Oculus in 2014 — indicated at last year’s Oculus developer conference that such a device was possible.

At the conference, Zuckerberg said, “This is the kind of thing that we believe will exist.” he said. He was describing a device that would hit a “sweet spot” that is more expensive than a smartphone-based VR system like Samsung’s Gear VR and less expensive than Facebook’s own Oculus Rift system. That sentiment was reaffirmed in an email that we received today from an Oculus spokesperson:

“We don’t have a product to unveil at this time, however we can confirm that we’re making several significant technology investments in the stand-alone VR category. This is in addition to our commitment to high-end VR products like Oculus Rift and mobile phone products like Gear VR.”

There are not many details on the upcoming headset. It will have wireless controllers and an interface that will sport an interface that’s a bit like the Gear VR. The device will be manufactured by Chinese company Xiaomi and it will use a Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile system-on-chip (SoC) to provide a similar gaming experience to the Gear VR. The device described here won’t get in the way of Facebook’s work on another stand-alone VR headset — code-named “Santa Cruz” — that matches the Oculus Rift in power but that one is not likely to come in at anywhere close to a $200 price point.

The lower-end product will not be a replacement for the Rift because it won’t have the high-end product’s positional tracking capabilities providing six degrees of freedom. That feature won’t make its way to a stand-alone product until a future version. In the meantime, Oculus will be working with game designers to ensure that a solid lineup of titles will be available and downloadable from within the VR environment while maintaining its commitment to the Oculus Rift system.

If you are excited about the prospect of a stand-alone VR headset that does not tie you down to an expensive PC and provides a little more power than Gear VR, then you will have to wait awhile to get your hands on one. It won’t be shipping it until 2018, and in the meantime, there’s the Gear VR and Oculus Rift to consider as viable alternatives.

Updated: We added a statement that we received from Oculus on Thursday and made some minor adjustments to the story.

Virtual Reality

Prototype Valve VR headset leaked: HTC Vive challenger confirmed?

Leaked images revealed that a Valve VR headset is in development, even amid Valve's partnership with HTC for the HTC Vive. Sources confirmed the device, which may be bundled with a Half-Life VR game.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.

The best HTC Vive games available today

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.

Turn your iPad into a display for your new Mac Mini with this workaround

The folks at Luna Display have figured out a workaround which lets you get the best of both worlds and use Wi-Fi and an adapter in order to turn your iPad into a display for the 2018 Mac Mini.

Latest SMS breach could allow hackers access to your online accounts

A new security breach that exposed more than 26 million text messages could be a huge nightmare for users relying on two-factor authentication. Many of the SMS on the database contained security codes and account reset links.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mail client goes freemium with the introduction of ads

Microsoft Windows Insiders are finding a nasty surprise inside the Mail app on the latest Windows 10 preview build in the form of banner ads. These ads will appear in the Mail app regardless of the webmail service you use.

All the best Apple MacBook deals for Black Friday 2018

Shoppers looking for a new Apple laptop could find huge savings on a new MacBook come Black Friday. Retailers are offering discounts as much as $650 on select MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models this holiday season.

Apple discontinues AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule as it exits Wi-Fi router business

Apple is now officially no longer in the router business. The company had already stopped selling the AirPort Express, and now its retail stores and websites have stopped offering the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule.

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.

PDF to JPG conversion is quick and easy using these simple methods

Converting file formats can be an absolute pain, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together a comprehensive guide on how to convert a PDF to JPG, no matter which operating system you're running.

Crypto hangover could take blame for Nvidia’s potential GeForce RTX 2060 delay

Nvidia's delay in announcing a ship date for its GeForce RTX 2060 GPU could be due to a burst in the cryptocurrency mining bubble. Executives blamed the crypto hangover for an oversupply of inventory on existing GTX 1060 cards,

Save $900 on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and more with Lenovo’s Cyber Monday sales

In the latest set of holiday sales, Lenovo is heavily discounting its fifth-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon and other popular Windows laptops and 2-in-1s for the holiday shopping season.