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Oculus Rift price cut to £399 for good

12 October 2017

At the Oculus Connect 4 event, a lot of virtual reality (VR) related things were announced, and the biggest of them all was Oculus' first untethered (wireless) VR headset.

It comes with a high-resolution fast-switch LCD screen and next-generation lens technology that could have input from Cork's own InfiniLED which was acquired by Oculus past year to boost VR screen technology. The main advantage with a standalone VR headset is its cost. According to market research firm Canalys, Facebook sold fewer than 400,000 units of the Oculus Rift a year ago, making it less popular than the competing HTC Vive and Sony PlayStation VR, the latter of which has already shipped more than 1 million units. There's not much anyone can do about the first problem, but the second has just been addressed by Oculus VR. At the developer conference, the company launched Oculus for Business which will allow companies buy the Oculus Rift bundles in bulk and be able to avail enterprise-grade warranties.

Facebook has shaken up Oculus management team since then in a series of moves that included the departure of founder Palmer Luckey earlier this year. The Facebook-owned company also claims that the newer optical lenses offer a wider field of view, reducing the "screen door effect" and reducing glare. It also includes built-in speakers that provide spatial audio, along with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

For the people who aren't in a headset, Facebook made a decision to drop in 3D Posts, a native media type in News Feed that gives everyone the ability to share content created inside VR. You can use all the VR apps, content, and games that are available on the Gear VR, though.

Oculus also shared the recent updates to Project Santa Cruz, which is a standalone VR headset the company showed off previous year. There is, however, no release date for the Santa Cruz motion controllers. The company was calling the prototype of this product "Santa Cruz" headset.

Dash rolls up all of Rift's existing menus and UI into a central hub that's instantly accessible from anywhere in VR-all built natively for Touch.

According to Gartner, some 16m VR headsets were shipped worldwide in 2016, a number that is tipped to reach 22m in 2017.

Remember that you'll need a decent-spec PC to run any VR - if you don't have one, keep an eye on gaming PC deals - any high-end rig will run VR well, though some specifically advertise themselves as "VR-ready" now to show they meet the required specs for Vive and Oculus. You can also visit your friends' virtual homes. Developers can even debug their VR apps while inside them, using Visual Studio, Unity, and Unreal.

Facebook, owner of Oculus, has announced that it is working on something called "Venues".

Oculus Rift price cut to £399 for good