11:13am PT by Carolyn Giardina
Mark Zuckerberg Unveils Oculus Go Stand-Alone Virtual Reality Headset
Asserting that he is "more committed to virtual reality than ever" and making it "accessible to everybody," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday introduced new VR technology aimed at the "sweet spot" between entry-level mobile phone-based VR headsets such as Samsung's Oculus-supported Gear VR and high-end PC-based systems such as Oculus Rift. Also during the keynote at the Oculus Connect 4 developers conference in San Jose, California, content announcements included Coco VR, the first VR experience from Pixar.
The new Oculus Go was described as the company's first stand-alone VR headset with Oculus' latest imaging technology and spacial audio that will list for $199. It is scheduled to ship early next year. Development kits will be available in November.
Zuckerberg and Facebook's VR vp Hugo Barra also offered an update on the company's prototype Project Santa Cruz technology, which is effectively about creating an untethered Rift with tracking for six degrees of freedom. This technology will be in the hands of developers next year, they said.
Rounding out its VR headset lineup, the company also permanently dropped the price of Rift and hand controller Touch, which will be bundled for $399 (and requires a separate computer to operate).
On the content side, announcements included Coco VR, Pixar's first VR release, based on its upcoming Day of the Dead themed film. Directed by Ross Haldane Stevenson and produced by Marc Sondheimer, Coco VR is a co-production from Disney Pixar and Oculus with VR creative development and execution by Los Angeles-based Magnopus (Emmy-nominated VR production Mission: ISS). It will be available for Oculus Rift on Nov. 15 and Samsung Gear VR on Nov. 22, the day of the film's U.S. release.
Also announced during the keynote: A beta version of Rift's updated software, Rift Core 2.0, which include a new "Dash" user interface, is scheduled for availability in December.