The Oculus Connect 4 conference took place this week in San Jose, California, where the Facebook-owned virtual reality company announced one new headset, teased another that's in development and pulled back the curtain on some additional VRy interesting goodies coming down the pike.
The new Oculus Go mobile VR headset is the second ever created by Oculus and the first since Facebook bought the company in 2014. Unlike the Rift, the Go doesn’t need to plug into a computer; the hardware is built inside of the lightweight headset. And even though, unlike a Gear VR, the Go doesn't need a smartphone to work, it is expected to run a lot of the same apps as the Gear VR and other smartphone-based headsets. But Oculus is promising it will offer better visual clarity.
The Oculus Go will sell for $199 when it comes out in 2018.
Oculus Rift price drop
The Rift's summertime price drop was made permanent from the Connect stage this week, so you can buy Oculus's high-powered headset for $399 from here on out.
More looks at Project Santa Cruz headset
At the conference, Oculus and Facebook also showed off an update on a third VR device that's in the pipeline. Called Project Santa Cruz, it’s a standalone headset like Go, but it's one with motion tracking in the headset and in its wireless controllers, so it aims to deliver an untethered version of the "full VR" Rift experience – one that blows mobile VR (the Gear VR and now the Oculus Go) out of the water. Project Santa Cruz began last year, but the fancy wireless controllers Oculus has built to pair with the still-in-development headset were shown for the first time at this year's Connect.
Another new piece of info given on Project Santa Cruz: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it'll finally be released for developers to begin building stuff for it "in a year."
For the Rift, Oculus showed off a new Dash for controlling your computer in VR.
Facebook also announced the development of social 'Venues,' where you'll soon be able to watch concerts and sporting events in VR.
New stuff for Facebook Spaces
And the latest demos for the virtual reality version of Facebook were on display at Oculus Connect 4, too. Seen at for the first time at the conference were Kits, where Facebook Spaces users can collect virtual objects to share with friends, and the integration of Quill, a social VR sculpturing program.
Oh, and the totality of news unveiled at this year's Connect will play into big boss Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to get 1 billion people into virtual reality, as he announced from the Connect stage. So there's that nugget.