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Facebook hopes to get 1bn people into VR

Tyrone Stewart

Oculus GoUpon unveiling a standalone VR headset from the company’s Oculus VR division, called Oculus Go, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the tech giant’s aim of getting 1bn people into VR one day.

Speaking at Facebook’s annual Oculus Connect VR developer conference, Zuckerberg – on top of the standalone headset – also revealed that the price of the Oculus Rift would be permanently cut to $399.

According to the company, there have been 100m downloads of apps that work with Oculus, which is keeping Zuckerberg optimistic about the future of VR. He didn’t say when he wants to reach 1bn Oculus VR users but the company is working on several ways to offer less-bulky, lower-cost headsets like the new $199 Oculus Go.

The Oculus Go doesn’t need to be tethered to a PC or a smartphone, and is a step in the right direction for Facebook’s goal of reaching 1bn people, though VR adoption continues to be very slow.

In addition to the Oculus Go reveal, Facebook’s head of VR Hugo Barra provided an update on Project Santa Cruz, Facebook’s prototype movement-tracking standalone headset. Despite the update, no expected release date was announced, but Barra did say that developers can expect devices to work with at some point in the next year.

VR has been the greatest thing for Facebook as of late, however.

Zuckerberg recently came under fire for a livestreamed virtual tour of disaster-hit Puerto Rico, and was forced to make an apology for the ill-judged attempt at raising awareness for the country’s suffering.

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