Facebook-owned Oculus VR plans to release a much cheaper virtual-reality headset priced at roughly $US200 in 2018, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
Unlike the high-end Oculus Rift headset that’s out now, the device will not require a dedicated PC to function, the report said. It will instead be designed to work without an external power supply. Even the low-end Gear VR headset that Oculus makes in partnership with Samsung requires a phone for power.
Facebook said last year that it’s working on a standalone, untethered version of the Oculus Rift, dubbed the “Santa Cruz” prototype. This $US200 headset is reportedly codenamed “Pacific,” Bloomberg said.
A Facebook spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the report.
The headset will be manufactured by Chinese phone maker Xiaomi, according to Bloomberg. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently hired top Xiaomi executive Hugo Barra to lead all of Facebook’s VR efforts.
Facebook has been aggressively cutting the price of its current Oculus Rift headset, which temporarily costs $US400 and requires a $US1,000 PC to run.
Sony announced in February that it had sold 925,000 units of its PlayStation VR headset, making it the early leader in VR. Oculus has yet to disclose sales of its headset, but third-party estimates show that Rift sales have fallen well behind Sony and the HTC Vive.
Zuckerberg has said that Facebook plans to spend billions more on Oculus and developing VR.
“In the long run, we believe we will get to a space where VR is mass market,” Oculus VP of Content Jason Rubin recently told BI. “It’s going to take a while, but we’re heading in the right direction.”