Oculus Connect’s keynote this morning was full of big announcements, including the Oculus Go standalone headsets, updates to Santa Cruz, price drops, new features and a whole lot more.
Here are our top 10 announcements.
#1: Oculus Go
The biggest announcement is, understandably, Oculus Go. This new standalone headset will cost $199 and will ship in early 2018.
The headset is part of Oculus’ next big goal: getting one billion people in VR, Zuckerberg said, and will begin shipping to developers in November.
When Facebook’s VP of VR Hugo Barra took the stage, we learned a bit more about the headset, including that it would be “super light weight” despite housing everything needed for full VR experiences, Barra said, and would have better lenses with the same wide field of view as the Rift.
“The high-resolution fast-switch LCD screen dramatically improves visual clarity and reduces screen door effect,” reads Oculus’ blog about the new headset. “And the next-generation lenses are our best ever—offering a wide field of view with significantly reduced glare.”
Barra said the standalone headset will ship with integrated spatial audio support, with speakers built right into the headset for easier setup and easier sharing of VR experiences with others.
Since Gear VR and Oculus apps are binary compatible, all Gear VR content will be ready for Oculus Go users from Day 1.
Barra also announced some updates to Oculus’ Santa Cruz headset prototype.
#2: Improved avatars, portable to Daydream and Steam
Another announcement came in the form of improved avatars. Users will now be able to personalize their avatars into one of trillions of available permutations complete with lip movement and more realistic eye tracking.
And, you’ll be able to use that avatar across other platforms, including Steam and Google Daydram.
The features are expected sometime next year.
#3: Oculus Dash brings multitasking to Rift
The company also announced Dash, to allow Rift users to access their PC desktop from within Rift. Meaning, while watching VR content or playing a game, users can access Spotify, chat with friends or look at documents.
#4: Updates to the Santa Cruz prototype
Santa Cruz was announced at Oculus Connect last year, but today we learned that the standalone headset would deliver hand presence with two positionally tracked controllers.
#5: Livestream from your VR headset
You’ll also soon be able to livestream from your headset, allowing friends, family and followers to see what you’re seeing and doing in VR.
#6: Facebook Live 360 video comes to Spaces
Facebook also announced updates to its Spaces social VR platform, including the ability to incorporate Facebook Live 360 videos.
You’ll also be able to illustrate within Spaces using Quill and bring flat photos and videos into the social platform, as well.
And, it was also teased that Spaces would also be arriving on other platforms–potentially Vive and PlayStation VR–soon.
#7: Block and friend other users across apps
Another interesting and much-needed feature is the ability to block other users and keep track of friends across all apps. #win
#8: Share 3D objects on your newsfeed
Also, starting today, you can now share your 3D items directly to your Facebook newsfeed.
#9: Personalize Oculus Home and invite over friends
As part of Rift Core 2.0, you’ll soon be able to personalize Oculus Home and invite friends to come hang out in your virtual “home”. And, instead of a pop-up interface of content, your avatar will actuall pop cartridges into a retro console.
A free beta version of Rift Core 2.0 will be available to all users in December.
#10 Oculus Rift price permanently drops to $399
Oculus also announced a permanent price drop for Rift and Touch, $399, the same as their limited time promotion deal this past summer.