Michael Newberg | CNBC
New virtual reality apps are revealed at Facebook’s F8 conference in San Jose, California, on April 18 and 19, 2017.
Facebook’s Oculus will release a $200 wireless headset in 2018, Bloomberg reported, marking a leap in affordability and technology for the virtual reality brand.
The device, code-named “Pacific,” will be designed for immersive gaming, watching videos and social networking, according to Bloomberg’s unidentified sources. Game designers will be briefed by October, according to Bloomberg.
Facebook told CNBC, “We don’t have a product to unveil at this time, however we can confirm that we’re making several significant technology investments in the standalone VR category.”
The technology has already seen steep price cuts this year: This week, Oculus began charging $399 for its Rift device, controllers and some games, a bundle that was last priced at nearly $600, and even higher before that. The new device will not be a replacement for the Rift or third-party devices that use Oculus technology, like some Samsung phones, and does not mark a significant strategic change, sources told CNBC.
Oculus has lagged competitors in bringing a range of affordable headsets to market amid a series of setbacks.
Facebook’s 2014 Oculus acquisition was the subject of a high-profile lawsuit. A jury ordered Facebook to pay $500 million indamages after a company sued Oculus, claiming Oculus “commercially exploited” computer code and trade secrets. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey recently left the company after some scrutiny over his political ties.
But Facebook has recently stepped up its ambitions in virtual reality. The company recently unveiled Facebook Spaces, a social VR product that is reportedly slated to include live virtual reality streams.
For more on the story, see the full report at Bloomberg.com.