Oculus Readying a Standalone VR Headset; May Launch Next Year

July 17, 2017, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Facebook-owned Oculus is giving a new direction to the development of VR headsets within the company. After rallying around the Rift headset for years, Oculus is now up with a new product that will bring out standalone VR experience to the users.

Called Pacific, the new device is being developed in association with Xiaomi, which apparently seems to have been facilitated by the move of the Xiaomi’s former global VP Hugo Barra to VR development at Oculus.

The Pacific will be a more compact device than the original Rift device. Besides, it will have standalone capability that will get rid of the dependency of headsets on PCs or smartphones. Above all, Pacific will also be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile chip to ensure better graphics.

However, there is a catch. Pacific won’t be featuring positional tracking unlike the Rift. This gives birth to the possibility of the headset being dated out in the market. Even the recently revealed Google Daydream headsets featured inside-out tracking.

Interestingly, Oculus did reveal a standalone prototype previously that came with camera tracking features. The move to omit the feature now seems to have been adopted in order to churn out a cheap and self-containing headset into the market from one of the early players.

More details about the Pacific VR headset are yet to be out. Oculus has revealed that the device will be up in stores at some point next year. So we can expect more details to be revealed heading forward. Oculus are not the sole players pushing for standalone VR headsets.

Samsung, who have previously introduced Gear VR headsets with the aid of Galaxy flagship smartphones, are also in pursuit of bringing out cheap and compact standalone VR headsets. They had also previously tied up with Oculus for one of the Gear VR editions, which won’t be the case next time as Oculus have already found in Xiaomi this time around.

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