Standalone Oculus Quest VR Headset Arrives Next Spring

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Last year's version was still using handheld controllers with integrated touch pads, but the final version will ship with controllers that use Oculus Rift-style thumb sticks and buttons. Those limitations aren't a major issue if you're doing something like watching a 360-degree video, but they don't permit more fully interactive experiences such as fancy games.

Oculus will include two of the Rift's Touch controllers with the Quest in order to provide a consistent, yet familiar method of interacting with objects in virtual space.

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CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the new hardware at the Oculus Connect conference in San Jose, California, on Wednesday. It also features six degrees of freedom (6DoF), so that the user's movements can be recognized in any direction. It comes with its own battery that powers it, along with 64gb of storage, and a screen resolution of 1600×1440 in each eye. Using the cameras alone, the headset is supposedly going to be able to track up to 4,000 square feet as to allow the user to move around. The Go is meant to make good VR affordable, the Quest provides a standalone experience with high-quality Rift-like experiences and the Rift can connect to a PC for the highest-end experiences possible.

However, in a rare self-deprecating moment on stage, Zuckerberg recalled setting a goal of getting a billion people into virtual reality after buying Oculus some four years ago in a deal valued then at $2 billion - before admitting things hadn't gone according to plan. Quest "brings the magic of Rift to a mainstream product that appeals to an even wider audience", he said. You need a good CPU, and if you want Rift level content you really need a powerful GPU - such as AMD's Radeon RX 56 - which goes for almost $700, or you need to suck it up and go with crummier graphics while saving money on something like Nvidia's GeForce GTX 970 - which can be had for around $350 if you're lucky.

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The demo made it clear that Oculus is approaching mixed reality from the VR side, in contrast to MagicLeap, which is approaching mixed reality from the augmented reality side. The social-media company acquired Oculus VR, a headset company, in 2014.

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