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Facebook Announces $399 Oculus Quest Standalone VR Headset

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg used his keynote at the company’s Oculus Connect VR developer conference in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday to announce the next major product coming out of the company’s VR subsidiary: Oculus Quest, which was previously known as Project Santa Cruz, will ship next spring for $399.

Oculus Quest is a standalone VR headset, meaning that it doesn’t require a PC or a mobile phone to run VR games and experiences. It also uses inside-out tracking, which allows the device to respond visually to users leaning into an experience.

Oculus Quest will ship with two handheld controllers, and consumers will be able to access more than 50 VR titles at launch.

“This is it,” Zuckerberg said. “This is the all-in-one VR headset that we have been waiting for.” Zuckerberg painted Quest as a key part of Facebook’s plan to get 1 billion people to use VR, a goal that he admitted was still far away.

Oculus first announced its Santa Cruz headset at its developer conference two years ago, and gave developers and media a look at an updated version of the device last year. 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.

Company executives likened Quest to the Rift multiple times, with Facebook VP of VR Hugo Barra saying that the Rift had been the company’s testbed to find out what was possible in VR. Quest “brings the magic of Rift to a mainstream product that appeals to an even wider audience,” he said.

Oculus Quest is being powered by a custom inside-out-tracking technology developed by Facebook that is called Oculus Insight. This technology will not only make tracking work for Quest in a variety of rooms, it also works in much larger rooms than most existing home-based VR systems. Barra said that the company is demonstrating Quest at Oculus Connect with an arena-size demo measuring 4000 square feet.

Launch titles for Oculus Quest will include “Vader Immortal,” a new “Star Wars” VR series produced by Lucasfilm’s ILMxLab.

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