Update: Oculus Standalone Headset To Release Next Year For $200 – Report

by Jamie Feltham • July 13th, 2017

Update: UploadVR can confirm that Oculus will not be shipping the reported standalone headset this year. The company is, however, exploring multiple options within the the standalone space, and has not stopped work on its Santa Cruz prototype. The company isn’t planning to replace the Rift with the Santa Cruz prototype, either.

Meanwhile, an Oculus spokesperson provided us with the following statement: “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 standalone VR category. This is in addition to our commitment to high-end VR products like Oculus Rift and mobile phone products like Gear VR.”

Correction: An original version of this article stated that the rumored standalone headset will be releasing this year. The report actually states it will ship next year. We’ve updated the story below to reflect this.

Original story: We haven’t seen Oculus’ standalone VR headset since a prototype debuted at Oculus Connect last year, but a new report surfacing today suggests the company will have an all-in-one headset out next year for just $200.

Bloomberg says as much, citing sources that asked not to be named. The headset is apparently codenamed Pacific and will sport an interface similar to Oculus and Samsung’s Gear VR mobile headset. No phone will be necessary, however, has Pacific will have all of the necessary components built into the machine already. One source also said that the device will be lighter than Gear VR. You’ll use a wireless remote to control the device.

Here’s the interesting part, though; this device might not be the same as the Santa Cruz headset that was introduced at Oculus Connect. Bloomberg’s report states that Santa Cruz is actually a separate prototype to Pacific and is in fact meant to power the same kind of experiences you would see on PC without actually needing the rig. Does this mean Facebook is working on two standalone devices that vary in processing power? Could we expect Pacific to instead be capable of experiences similar to current mobile VR apps?

We’ve reached out to Oculus to ask about the validity of the report.

If true that might pit Pacific against Google’s upcoming WorldSense headsets, which are standalone devices with positional tracking that support the company’s pre-existing Daydream mobile VR ecosystem. If that’s the case then Oculus would again be competing with HTC, which is making a WorldSense headset for release later this year. The two also currently compete in the high-end VR space with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive respectively.

We’ll likely find out just how accurate this report is at Oculus Connect 4 in October if not sooner. We’ve already got plenty of questions about positional tracking and input.

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  • $200 seems too few for a headset, unless it is of a very poor quality.
    The only possibility is that they plan on selling a lot or that shares a lot of the tech with the Rift… we’ll see

    • Rawnsley

      $200 is crazy talk. I suspect this and the upcoming Google Standalone products to be around the $500 mark, which is the price of a decent phone with the same components.

      • Crazy talk, huh?
        Are you gonna pay $500 for a GearVR-level experience in 2018 ..? lol
        I think not, sir.
        The tech has moved far enough along in that this is what you get in 2018 VR for $200.

  • Bloomberg are saying it’s out in 2018

    • Jamie Feltham

      Yup, my bad. Posted a correction.

  • OkinKun

    Don’t get too excited.. this is basically just a stand-alone phoneless GearVR style device. It doesn’t have positional tracking, it just runs GearVR stuff.

    • Justos

      Depends on a few things for me personally,

      Screen resolution – can they up it at all in a standalone unit? GearVR is a better viewer than Rift hands down even with better perceived resolution than vive. I would pay 200$ for a great tv/movie watching experience.

      FOV – Will it be larger due to not being a phone? I would think so.

      Im not totally miffed about missing positional tracking because without motion controllers its already watered down in the first place. This would be a neat viewer and thats about it. I wouldn’t play games much on it when I have a Rift.

      • daveinpublic

        Might have positional tracking. The Google standalones will. And it might have controller tracking. Microsoft’s will. Some people say, Microsofts won’t be able to track the controller when it’s out of the camera’s view, with no evidence to back it up. I read an article saying the gyroscopes in the controllers will take over when they’re out of camera view, and be updated with camera info when back in view.

        • Vryan

          It will have poor tracking out of camera view, gyroscopes only detect rotation

  • VR Geek

    A $200 inside out stand alone HMD that can deliver room scale with motion controller is just be what VR needs to get adoption going this winter.

    • Simon Hughes

      There’s no way that can include any sort of processor for that price. Think about it, that’s less than any half decent cell phone at retail, and less that any current gen consoles, and that’s without all the tracking and optics that are on top of that. I suspect this story is far from the truth.

      • VR Geek

        I thought that too, but flooding the market with a low cost device may really kick start their app store VR ecosystem even if the hardware costs more to make. Facebook I am sure recognizes the enormous potential if they become the lead VR provider. Loose a little money on hardware, but make up for it with app sales and data collection.

        • Simon Hughes

          I am sure they could take a loss. And despite not being a huge fan of Oculus, i’d like this to be true as it would kick start VR, if it’s a half decent headset. I can see them taking a loss on this, like with a console, but I am guessing they are already taking a loss on the rift + touch at $400, and I’d be surprised they could afford to take the kind of loss this would entail. But I have no idea of the price dynamics at play here either, I fully admit. So hoping this is true, but very skeptical

          • VR Geek

            I fully agree with you, but I think Facebook would be cool with the loss. I mean they have already spent well over $2B. Say the HMD costs $600 to build this would mean they loose $400/HMD. If they sell 1 million units in the first year, it will cost them $400M which in the grand scheme of things is possibly a better investment right now than spinning up another VR dev studio etc.

            Did a search and found that the average smartphone user spends about $40 in the app store per year so clearly the ROI for Facebook sucks, but don’t forget for each person who buys and LOVES their $200 VR unit, they tell 3 friends and they tell 3 friends etc. If that results in 10 million HMDs in the follow year or 2, then Facebook’s $400M investment would be making profit in 2-3 years and their brand name will have a favorable market position to grow into 100M HMDs before the end of the decade. I am SURE this is where Facebook’s head is at. If I had deep pockets, I would buy my way into the market too.

  • Frogacuda

    The notion that this runs Rift-style experiences and will cost $200 is just absurd. It really undermines the credibility of any of it.

    • Who said it did that?
      What the article DOES say is “Pacific” is GearVR-esque, but without the phone.
      A quick & dirty “VR Lite”, if you will.
      “Santa Cruz” & DaydreamVR are the ones that’ll offer PC quality
      in a compact, self-contained package. “Pacific” will be a toy for preschoolers.

  • MrLonghair

    Is this going to be $200 the way OR was “around $350” until we got the real price reveal?

  • Simon Hughes

    For $200 it can’t include a CPU and GPU surely? Does it connect wirelessly to a PC?

  • Jeff

    I’m surprised they aren’t going with a cloud based solution to the graphical and cpu power issues- maybe they are, but if not I have no interest in the device at $200…

  • Travis Vincent

    Just give it 5 years or so and we will have a convergent device that will satisfy most of our needs.

  • Well, I’ll say this ….
    I’m fucking sick to death of all these stories about
    this tech or that feature or the other rumored prototype ….
    PUT FUCKIN’ SOMETHING ON THE SHELF N-O-W.