Oculus Santa Cruz is a VR prototype that brings many high-end features of the Oculus Rift and Touch, most notably positional (6DoF) tracking on both headset and controllers, into a self-contained, standalone design. What follows is a brief overview of everything we know about the headset so far.

What is Oculus Santa Cruz?

Image courtesy Oculus

Originally announced at Oculus Connect 3 in 2016, the Santa Cruz project represents “the future” of Facebook’s long-term vision for VR hardware, positioned between Gear VR and Rift, aiming to deliver a high-end VR experience without the need for external sensors or a PC connection. Santa Cruz has many similarities in design and features to the Oculus Rift, but is a self-contained system, using an internal processor, displays, battery, and sensors for the same kind of positional (AKA 6DOF) tracking found on high-end tethered headset. That means it doesn’t rely on a host device like a connected computer or docked smartphone.

Unlike the soon-to-launch Oculus Go, which is essentially an affordable all-in-one Gear VR, Santa Cruz is targeting a future ‘high-end’ mobile VR market thanks to its 6DOF tracking on both the headset and the controllers, and a more powerful processor.

What Are the Oculus Santa Cruz Specs?

Image courtesy Oculus

For now, detailed specifications are unconfirmed, as Santa Cruz is still in its prototype phase. However, it is likely to use a high-end mobile chip; specifically we’d bet on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 as the underlying SoC, especially considering that the Oculus Go is built on a lower-end version of that chip. Looking into the capabilities of the Snapdragon 845 then gives us some high level insights into the specifications of Santa Cruz. According to Chris Pruet, Oculus’ Head of Development Engineering, who spoke about Santa Cruz at GDC 2018, the headset’s thermal design allows the processor to run at higher clock rates than any similar device he’s seen.

We went hands-on with a Santa Cruz prototype in October 2017, which already featured what appeared to be higher resolution displays (but probably running below 90Hz) and improved Fresnel lenses when compared to the Rift. At the time we confirmed that the headset is using a pair of displays, and includes an IPD adjustment slider. If we had to guess, we’d expect that Santa Cruz is using the same 1,440 × 1,600 displays that are presently found in the Samsung Odyssey and Vive Pro headsets.

The most recent Santa Cruz images from Oculus show that the latest design remains similar to latest prototype we tried in 2017, in terms of incorporating the mainboard and battery into the display enclosure, with four ultra-wide cameras placed on the leading edges that perform the inside-out positional tracking, as well as tracking the 6DoF controllers.

The device also features integrated speakers hidden in the head strap (similar to the Oculus Go), along with volume buttons on the headset, plus a headphone jack for more private and higher-quality sound. The headstrap looks similar to the Rift at first glance, but has a different shape for cupping the back of the head, and is made from a more flexible, rubbery material.

Oculus initially debuted the Santa Cruz controllers with trackpads, but has since said they’ll return to thumbsticks. | Photo by Road to VR / Image courtesy Oculus

The controllers are similar to that of the Oculus Touch units, and the Oculus says they’ll feature thumbsticks and buttons instead of trackpads, to bring the inputs closer to Touch parity.

What’s Know About the Oculus Santa Cruz Release Date & Price?

Oculus hasn’t officially announced a release date or price for Santa Cruz, but we can make some educated guesses based on the available information. At Oculus Connect 4 in October 2017, the company stated it was aiming to have developer kits out in the wild within a year. That leads us to believe we’ll see a late 2018 or early 2019 release date for Santa Cruz.

While price is also unconfirmed, Santa Cruz is clearly a very different proposition to the $200 Oculus Go. With Rift-level components and a self-contained design, it seems likely that it will be considerably more expensive than the $400 Oculus Rift and Touch. Competitive products give us a likely idea of pricing as well, with the Lenovo Mirage Solo priced at $400 and the Vive Focus around $525.

We’re expecting to hear more information about the Santa Cruz launch date and price at Facebook’s F8 conference in May and the Oculus Connect conference in the second half of 2018.

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  • Luke

    I hope CV2 will have both (analog stick and touch pads, as microsoft did with mixed reality controllers).
    and will use external sensors for some competitive esports without problems, example: https://forums.oculusvr.com/community/discussion/58463/actions-that-you-simply-couldnt-do-in-vr-using-only-front-facing-inside-out-cameras#latest

  • Henree

    maybe some virtual reality to go with the headset would help.

  • brandon9271

    WHY don’t they make it opinional for these devices to tether to a PC??! Otherwise hurry the fuck up with CV2

    • brubble

      My sentiments exactly.

    • Nosfar

      My thoughts exactly. Surelyitncant be that much more to make that happen. Even i would have to buy one then…

      • brandon9271

        I’m sure the minute this comes out sometime will have it working in Steam with VRidge. If so, it sort of makes Rift CV2 redundant.

        • Rogue Transfer

          Not really, Santa Cruz will be much lower res than any CV2 – its res is only 2560×1440 (see: https://www.techradar.com/news/facebooks-project-santa-cruz-headset-ships-to-developers-early-next-year ), which is not much different than the Rift 1.

          Any Rift CV2 will have much higher resolution than Santa Cruz, at the very least. Though that is likely not to come for another couple years time, to give a window to release Santa Cruz & some mobile-level 6DOF content first.

          • VRfrenzy

            I feel like mobile VR is a double edge sword, while it brings in muggles to the VR world, they typically start expecting and assuming all VR is that low in quality for graphics, light weight, and untethered for the “experience” (although I am excited for what I would consider V1 for mobile VR, Oculus Go). Do you know how many of the Samsung Gears that were sold, okay so a huge number right? Well, now tell me how many of those will be repeat customers after that slightly failed low quality experience, and now tell me how many of those were resold, even when they were giving them away in the thousands with new phones. Have you looked at craigslist, or ebay, Amazon, LetGo, or other resell avenues?

            I’m really waiting for May as F8 conference should give us a better picture of things to come. They’ve also given a nod to continuing computer VR development for the Rift and that we “won’t be left out” so that should be interesting if there are announcements then. Also, in May, Google mentioned they would be revealing information about their OLEDs or something about VR as well that is “huge”. I’m excited but still trying to refrain from jumping in. I think once we get the hardware to 4k/4k per eye, that will last years and years. It’ll give us time to allow nVidia/AMD/Intel to push for in their development and game developers to really push in the graphics as well. Also, productivity will be great since you could finally read a MS Doc or PDF.

          • Sydney Losstarot

            I still don’t understand why people think productivity apps on a phone or VR HMD is an important feature. It is hard to be productive on a phone with such a small screen and tedious input and also hard to be productive on a VR device where you can’t see your mouse and keyboards while it heats up your GPU and CPU. Buy a phone to talk, listen to music, and get directions, look at email and calendar real quick. Just use a computer with a standard monitor for high productivity. Buy a VR headset for games, I don’t like the idea of VR connected to real world activities such as doing anything productive, social media, or ads. Maybe augmented reality would be okay place for productivity apps, social apps, but not ads. That being said, Facebook doesn’t seem to be a company which is ideal for VR.

          • Laurence Nairne

            That’s because you’re thinking with a consumer head. I work in VR on a daily basis as I create enterprise applications that use it. It would make a difference if I could use normal software inside it with something like Virtual Desktop and not get a raging headache trying to read text.

            I touch type, so I don’t need to see my keyboard and can use the look through camera (Vive) if I need to find my way back to it. It gets so tedious popping the HMD on and off every time I need to Google something, or switch back to Unity, or read my email, etc. This would allow me to only remove the HMD when I feel that my neck is at risk of a compacted vertebrate.

          • the mobile hmd will be the console. so the way to look at them is more like an xbox where pc gets the best graphics

          • brandon9271

            That’s true. I guess it depends on the specs of CV2 and at this point it’s pure speculation :) However, if a mobile VR device does end up working as good as CV1 while tethered to PC and has better optics and screen resolution, I’ll be in less of a hurry to buy CV2 unless it’s a pretty significant upgrade.

    • Flikr

      They had photos of it connected (wirelessly) to a pc running a Unity project. I have a good feeling fully published games will be doable too.

      • Ian Shook

        I was hoping to see a Li-Fi ball on top of the headset. That way you could stream a game wirelessly from your computer with no loss. But at least you’d have options. Maybe a later add-on.

    • killdozer

      How would they lock you in their ecosystem if you could connect to pc, they want to control as much stack as possible like apple

      • Kasper Olesen

        Yeah, that seems to me to be the main reason they wont allow this device to be connected to a PC. Really annoying as it might have ended up being the perfect VR device and I think it will just hurt themselves in the long run not to make it as useful as possible.

        • dk

          u can’t move your head or walk around ….it’s just an optimized cardboard headset…..if it had 6dof and 6dof controllers and more pixel density and eye tracking and optional pc connection …..now that will be a killer ……3dof headsets need to die it can’t be a perfect vr headsets if your head is pinned in one spot and u r basically paralyzed in vr

          • John Matychuk

            It is a 6dof headset as well as 6dof controllers. the Oculus go is the 3dof headset. also this will most likely have the same pixel density as the Vive pro.

          • dk

            hmmm for some reason I thought I was commenting on an article about the go …..another person was complaining about the go not being able to be easily connected to a pc

    • Lucidfeuer

      Technology retention, irrational business and stockholders.

      They’d rather sell low numbers and not make money but maintain attention and intangible (empty) value for investor to speculate on, than investing on real products with the risk of either being successful (which means sudden rise/peak in stocks, followed by lows despite investors not sharing risks) or met with failure (which means falling stocks).

    • G-man

      there is currently no tech that lets you connect a less powerful computer to a more powerful one. thats just not a thing. at best there the steam box that sends a compressed image over a home network and has too much latency for vr. mobile socs would have to stat being designed to take a direct video input from a pc. essentially have a low latency capture card built in. wen there is no demand for that at all in the mobile phone market thats a pretty tall ask.

      • brandon9271

        The technology doesn’t exist?? lmao. It could be easily done. They could add an HDMI pass thru to the display easily enough. People have been connect cell phone VR to PCs for years now.
        https://riftcat.com/vridge

        • G-man

          Riftcat is essentialy a remote desktop over wifi. Very high latency, or having to lower the quality and still unacceptable latency. Even ubdun ideal situations of a 5ghz router in the same room its not good.
          So no it doesnt exist in a way were its a viable product

          • brandon9271

            The point is it COULD exist if Oculus wanted it to. Riftcat is a hack of course but still works quite well and lots of people use it. That’s beside the point really. There’s no reason they couldn’t add an HDMI port that directly interfaces with the display circuitry and bypasses the SoC entirely. No need for video encode/decoding at all. It’s a very trivial thing.

          • G-man

            it could?
            absolutely fucking anything COULD exist. my point was that it DOESN’T exist, so thanks for agreeing with me i guess… you’ve got a fucked up way of agreeing wwith someone

          • brandon9271

            Whoa, calm your tits, man-child. The tech DOES exist. The PRODUCT doesn’t because it hasn’t been made yet. You think a display with multiple inputs is some kind of black magic mojo or something? Do you know ANYTHING about hardware AT ALL?

          • G-man

            calm your own tits brandon i’ve had enough of replying to dumbasses who want to try and debate everything. the tech DOESNT fucking exist. now piss off with your “but it could” nonsense. then you start trying to insult me like a fucking immatre little shit because i called you out on your bullshit? if you cant take someone pointing out how stupid something you said is then i cant help you with that nonsense, feel fee to keep your wierd need to counter everythin to yourself you immature nutter.

            you can put a second display input on to a vr headset, no one currently has done. you still then need the usb connection for tracking data, which then the tracking tech needs to connect to both the mobile soc and connect to a second pc. no one has made this. then you also need to power the display and tracking systems, going to run that off the battery? that wont fly so you need a wire sollution for power. so then you need a vr headset that is already heavier because its stand alone, and then put all this extra stuff into it, vastly increase the price. none of this fucking exist. feel free to piss off now.

          • brandon9271

            You said the TECHNOLOGY doesn’t exist as if it was something that would keep Elon Musk up at night. It’s all easily doable by any engineer who knows his ass from a hole in the ground. Displays can have multiple inputs, usb devices can work on both Android and PC and device can operate on battery or mains.. All completely trivial things that can be done. That was my point. I never said such a product existed. That was the entire point of my complaint.
            RiftCat has latency because of the video encoding/decoding. It passes the phones IMU data to the host PC rather quickly. So a second input to drive the displays would eliminate the latency and make a duel purpose HMD viable. It’s not rocket science.

      • “there is currently no tech that lets you connect a less powerful computer to a more powerful one. thats just not a thing.” huh it’s call server client setup and also grip computing where two pc handles 2 different task of the same app. so they could easily slave the gpu in the hmd to the gpu in the pc. letting the pc handle 90% of the work and the hmd gpu fine tunes the image

        • brandon9271

          Exactly! The hmd could handle things like ASW. That way latency would be reduced.
          Think of it in reverse. How hard would it be to take a VR device with inside out tracking like aa Window mixed reality headset and make it stand alone with a mobile SoC? Not very. :)

        • G-man

          And how do you reduce the latency on encoding the video image and sending it to the computer and the the mobile soc then decoding it. The networking based tech that is similar dont have any need for low latency connection and right now do any mobile socs suppoer gigabit ethernet? You going to reply on wifi?

          The tech doesnt exist. Doesnt matter if something similar in principal exists with servers for desktop to desktop.

          • Smh just cause the tech isn’t in hmd doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. There is shared rendering tech out there. Which is all i am saying it would be like as if it was an sli setup.. their can connect the headset via thunderbolt 3 and the pc do the big parts and the hmd handles post production, etc.

          • G-man

            yeah, all someone has to do is make it. so you know, it doesnt fucking exist.

    • There was a debate around this a lot of time ago on reddit. Making a device that can be tethered and standalone, would require a lot of:
      – additional hardware and so a higher final price
      – compromises and so only a decent quality for both experiences

    • Ted Joseph

      You have it.. PIMAX… But seriously, I want FREEDOM.. Enough of sitting by my computer, or with sensors.. I want to be able to take it out to a PARK, and run around in a virtual world, shooting or playing multiplayer in large areas in real time.

      • brandon9271

        If Pimax had OLED screens I’d probably get one. :) For running around in the park you need AR unless you want to run into a tree ;)

        • Laurence Nairne

          Or a child/dog.

    • Chris Blair Jr.

      Please bitch more. Oculus owes you nothing.

      • brandon9271

        Glad i have your permission to “bitch more” ;)

    • Anthony Kenneth Steele

      I bet the Snapdragon 845 is pretty damn powerful judging by why I can already play on my gear vr galaxy s6 (2015)

    • Ben Peterson

      hate to break it to you but this is the big news for VR not tethered devices

      • brandon9271

        Good thing we can have both in one device ;)

    • ProfessorK

      Riftcat

  • daveinpublic

    Getting hyped for May

    • VRFanatic

      Yeah, F8 should be interesting, esp considering they said that Oculus isn’t going to leave out the Desktop Users for “premium VR”, and Google has something up their sleeve as it pertains to high end resolution OLEDs they are going to talk about.

      • remember oculus is showing something off at the same display convention that google and lg will be showing their oled at.

  • FireAndTheVoid

    Where will they store the games? I already have a 1 terabyte drive filled with SteamVR games on my desktop computer. Will games for the Santa Cruz necessarily be much smaller in order to fit several on the device’s limited drive space?

    • G-man

      well they have to play on a mobile soc, so yeah.

    • Lower res. textures weight less, but nowdays you can strap loads of memory to everything, because it’s small, energy efficient, and weights next to nothing. The only concern is price, but if there will be demand, where will be also devices. There is no problem with engieeniering phone with 1TB of memory, but, why would somebody buy this?

  • MW

    Hi-end hi-end hi-end… BS. GPU with less power than medicore PC GPU is not hi-end. Vr is dying because of low quality. So what are they doing??

    • VRFanatic

      Mediocre PC GPU? Wow.. you are being quite generous. The only reason it’ll run slightly better than just a GS9+ is because they can directly control the hardware I/O to the chip. It’s lower rated than the GS9+. Hell integrated Intel i5 GPU/CPU would be more powerful

      • G-man

        thats more powerful than the like 255hz cpu and voodoo card i played dungeon keeper on like 15 years ago. it’s not a dekstop cpu /gpulevel of power, that doesnt mean the games cant be fun.

      • brandon9271

        The newer phones with Snapdragon SoCs can run Wii U games via the Dolphin emulator. That tells me that native apps should look at least as good as Wii U/PS3. That’s not great but it’s decent. If stuff like Dead and Buried, SuperHot and Space Pirate trainer can be ported over that’s decent for a stand alone device. I’m not really sure who this is aimed at. Maybe it’s for porn ;)

    • GunnyNinja

      VR is dying? To be replaced with what? VR will be around longer than YOU will…

  • MentalParadox

    I would prefer a CV2 that pushes the limits of resolution and field-of-view even further. Maybe they should have a product marketed specifically to the ‘elite’ (to avoid normal people being shocked by the price and required system specs), featuring the best parts available at the moment.

    Oculus Go: for people on tight budget
    Oculus Rift: for people with normal budget
    Oculus Santa Cruz: same as Rift but untethered and requiring no PC
    Oculus Elite: for early adopters/enthusiasts with deep pockets

    • Kev

      Oculus Go: for people who want a copy of the GearVR with a far weaker CPU/GPU
      Oculus Rift: for people who want the oldest VR device on the market
      Oculus Santa Cruz: for people who like VR with smartphone class processing power
      Oculus Elite: for delusional people who think Oculus will release anything innovative

  • VRFanatic

    Sadly these companies are playing the turtle game. Waiting for someone to inch them out because they don’t want to be the one stuck with the pinnacle of tech without any support. Which, would in turn prevent them from selling them and making a profit (you know, the point in creating a business). In a perfect world, Oculus would be producing a GPU, CPU, HMD, all at the same time that surpasses nVidia/Intel/AMD hardware. I’m hoping the announcements in May from F8 conference and Google’s “big annoucement” about OLEDs for VR in May will help the HMD technology be pushed fwd. Then we’ll just have to wait to have nVidia play catch up so we can push those screens without up-scaling and for game developers to finally start producing a good level of detail in games so they don’t look like 2012 Galaxy S4 mobile games (oh wait, they still almost look that shitty).

    • Andrew Jakobs

      No it’s not due to them, it’s due to the GPU’s, they are just not sufficient enough for mainstream. Not unless GTX1080 power is available for around $200 will the next generation of ‘highend’ headsets will only be for the few (and with that, not really interesting for hardware manufacturers to produce newer more expensive headsets). Current headsets already need a GPU which is about $350 and higher, and that’s about lowend for VR (GTX1050)..

  • Molmir

    All reviews of the Santa Cruz prototype 2 from October 2017 points out that the image looks much sharper, and that the graphics were almost like a Rift + VR-ready computer in the demoed experiences.

    Considering Santa Cruz runs on its onboard mobile processor (specific model unknown), it is clearly impossible to achieve these results no matter if its the latest snapdragon or some mobile nvidia chip ALONE.

    My point is NOT that Oculus has rigged the demos, or that the journalists who have experienced the demos are lying, WHAT I’M SAYING is that considering the experiences described in the demos, it is absolutely necessary that the Santa Cruz had a massive performance boost from a yet unknown source.

    So which unknown source gives a massive performance boost? The not so unknown Eyetracking + Foveated Rendering solution. This is obviously what is making the Santa Cruz so overpowered compared to the competition. Oculus acquired The Eye Tribe (eyetracking company) in december 2016, this is clearly what those guys have been developing over at Oculus.

    And it will give the Santa Cruz more effective power than a VR-ready computer.

    Lets be clear, Oculus has been developing the Santa Cruz for several years and continues to do so. THIS WILL NOT JUST BE yet another 6dof system with 1440p res and the latest snapdragon.

    This thing will be AMAZING.

    • NooYawker

      “And it will give the Santa Cruz more effective power than a VR-ready computer.”

      It’s kind of shocking the kind of things people will believe,
      And even more shocking what some people refuse to believe, like how you are Facebook’s data cow being milked.

      What idiot would still be using anything Facebook produces after his confessions?

      • Molmir

        Tell me, how do you run atleast twice as many pixels with almost the same graphics, without having more effective power?

        • NooYawker

          One, where does it say they’ll run twice as many pixels? If they had to guess, MAYBE it will run at 1440 at LESS than 90fps. And “almost the same graphics” could mean anything. Some people would say medium graphics is almost as good as ultra settings.
          But it’s all speculation, but anyone who ever thinks any self-contained mobile device will be more powerful than a desktop computer is just deluding themselves.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Or maybe the demo’s were highly optimized for the headset itself.

      • Molmir

        Would you make the same point against a demo made for a console?
        Obviously the demos were highly optimized for the headset itself, that is the point of having universal hardware.

  • NooYawker

    How long after release do we get Zuckerberg’s full page apology?

    • WyrdestGeek

      You have to wait until after the first publicized Oculus-related breach of user data.

      • VRfrenzy

        Ya know, the whole data breach outrage just irritates me. Anyone who has bought a phone, computer, or used ANY social media, purchased anything online, or practically given their email out knows that any and ALL data is being gathered and collated for meta data and utilized in some way shape or form. Hell it practically started with “soft” credit score pulls to send out credit card preapprovals. Hell practically any TOS you agree to these days TELLS you they are going to use, abuse, sell, research, and do whatever they please with your data. The same people that use Apple/Google products are the ones getting mad at Facebook. Really.. I mean really…? Hell does no one remember the original TOS for FB when it actually stated they could use your pictures however they wanted and make money with advertising using your pictures. People are surprised about directed advertisements in 2018… really?? You do realize that Google even makes a unique dedicated Advertising-ID tag that identifies any and all data you touch with a Google account/Phone/Product. I’m just sitting back laughing at all those fools who get mad because they are morons.

        • NooYawker

          Before the confessions, it was always, bullshit, they don’t do that. Now it’s, everyone does it!! You laugh, but I’m sad about how many people are like you.

          • VRfrenzy

            I never said I agree with it. I completely disagree with it but I’m not the ignorant one that gets up in arms when it “happens”, well becomes public because I was already under the assumption that if I purchase or use that product it’s already happening. I feel there should be an Opt in system, not a hey buy my product and you are AUTOMATICALLY our advertisement experiments and money makers.

  • MentalParadox

    What part of ‘for enthusiasts with deep pockets’ don’t you get?

  • MasterElwood

    My 1080 can run almost every game with SS 1.8 – at LEAST with SS 1.4.

    SS 1.8 = 3x CV1 Pixel
    SS 1.4 = 2x CV1 Pixel (more or less)

    Also: CV2 could have a 50k display – and still everyone could use it – just with the right amount of negative SS.

  • The VIVE Focus is $600, so it’s at least that much, right? Still, very exciting.

    It won’t drop the jaws visually like high-end stuff like a PC stuff, but the flexibility and hand tracking will make it a solid low-end VR rig for any use-case.

  • I expect a price around $500-$600

    • Smokey_the_Bear

      I agree, which I would likely buy. Then sell my Odyssey.

  • MosBen

    Santa Cruz will be a significant step forward for VR. VR enthusiasts tend to undervalue ease of use concerns, instead favoring gaudy increases in resolution, etc. Yes, those things will come with time, but making products that are easier for the average person to use on a regular basis is what will make VR something that reaches beyond the early adopters. Of my group of friends, only a couple have gaming PCs, and even among them I’m pretty sure that I’m the only one with a GTX 1070 or higher. The rest play games on consoles, or lower powered laptops, etc. Santa Cruze will allow for room-scale VR with 6DOF controllers. Even with a resolution equal to the Rift and slightly more graphically simplistic games it’s still enough to give people the sense of presence that makes VR compelling.

    CV2 will come out eventually, both because Oculus has explicitly said that they plan to continue that line as their top end, and also simply because it’s a good space to push the tech boundaries because that’s where the enthusiasts live, and they’re willing to put up with annoyances like cables and desktop requirements and sky high prices. And then eventually the tech developed for the desktop HMDs will filter into the more consumer level products, like whatever comes after the Go and Santa Cruz.

    • MW

      You still don’t get it… VR is not another game console. It’s a simulation of reality (that’s what consumer expect). That’s why resolution and fov (and entire graphic aspect) is so important. If I wanna play a game I have PC, console, smartphone. I don’t need another device. For VR I will pay to get… Vr!!!!!!

      • MosBen

        The broad consumer audience doesn’t have a gaming PC, and console, etc., etc. You’re making the mistake which is so common on these boards, which is assuming that the things that VR enthusiasts care about are what the industry needs to succeed. But like any area of technology or entertainment, early adopting enthusiasts are great because they’re willing to spend money on products that aren’t quite ready for prime time and will evangelize as the products get better, but their interests and concerns are not necessarily the interests and concerns of the people that you’re hoping to sell to. Of course I want better resolution and wider FOV, but I also have already invested in a gaming PC with pretty solid hardware. Issues like cost, comfort, ease of setup and use, and not relying on a separate expensive piece of technology are all issues that matter to general consumers far more than having 4k per eye resolution. When I show VR to people they tend to gravitate towards experience that provide interesting interactions and impressiveness, not necessarily the experiences with the most impressive graphics.

        This reminds me of a time when I worked at Best Buy oh so many moons ago. The woman that worked in the camera section lamented that the digital cameras she sold had features which adjusted settings automatically to produce clearer, better looking pictures. “You didn’t take that picture, you camera did.” she would say. But she fundamentally misunderstood that her interests as a photography enthusiast were not the same as the people that wanted to take nice looking pictures with those easy digital cameras. VR won’t succeed by going for the most technologically impressive, hardware pushing HMDs, but by appealing to the needs of people that think that VR seems cool and have a few hundred bucks to drop on it.

  • Ted Joseph

    This is a day one purchase for me, but the company that comes up with a wireless or TETHERLESS device that I can take ANYWHERE, with inside out tracking, 210 DEG FOV, high res — WILL WIN!

  • MosBen

    That’s like saying that for cars to be marketable that had to have all of the features of a 2018 Lexus. Yes, higher resolution and wider FOV are great, and will make VR much better, but what we’ve learned from the research done by the industry is that there’s a point where resolution and FOV are good enough that other things, like improving inputs, improving sound, etc. do more to increase immersiveness, or “presence”, than an equivalent improvement in resolution or FOV. We’re talking low hanging fruit here. At the same time, at a certain level of quality, cost, comfort, ease of use, etc., become bigger limiting factors in stopping people from buying an HMD. The Vive Pro could be the best VR experience for the next 5 years but large numbers of people wouldn’t buy it for $1,000 plus needing to buy a beefy gaming PC.

    We’re simply never going to reach a point where most people own a beefy gaming PC, and the people who do own beefy gaming PCs will never be a large enough segment of the population to support a mature, financially stable VR industry. Companies like Oculus and Valve are looking for ways to broaden the market for VR, not just serve the interests of people who are already on board with VR.

    • FireAndTheVoid

      PSVR 2.0 and Microsoft enabling Windows MR support on the Xbox One X will be what leads to mass adoption of VR. Unless it is priced in the $300-400 range, the Oculus Santa Cruz HMD will be an enthusiast product, IMO.

      • MosBen

        That’s possible, although I would imagine that PSVR 2.0 will require a PS4 Pro and whatever MS puts out will likely requires an Xbox One X, and both of those are relatively expensive pieces of hardware that most people don’t own, so the actual cost of ownership wouldn’t be that different, even if the Santa Cruz turned out to be a few hundred dollars more than the $300-$400 range that you gave.

        Honestly, I came very close to pulling the trigger on an Xbox One X recently, but MS’ lack of news on their VR plans held me back. I’m confident that they’re planning something; they just need to start talking about it more. I’ve got my fingers crossed for E3.

        • FireAndTheVoid

          Regarding the Xbox One X, my understanding is that Microsoft is blurring the lines between the Xbox console and gaming on a Windows PC.

          “Microsoft is planning to unify its PC and Xbox One gaming platforms into one ecosystem running Universal Windows Applications (UWAs), the head of the company’s Xbox division Phil Spencer has announced. It also looks likely that the Xbox One will become more PC-like with backwards compatible hardware upgrades in the future.”
          Source: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/01/microsoft-to-unify-pc-and-xbox-one-platforms-ending-fixed-console-hardware

          This is just pure speculation on my part, but Xbox One X could auto-magically get Windows MR support in a software update. Microsoft needs to do something soon. They are losing console VR market share to Sony’s Playstation.

          • MosBen

            I think that MS theoretically could make Windows MR headsets compatible fairly easily, but from what they’ve said it doesn’t seem likely. When the One X was still called Scorpio, MS talked about VR capabilities as being something that they were explicitly going for, but as rebranding and impending release got closer they stopped talking about VR, and it seems like it’s because HMDs aren’t quite where they want them to be. And while they haven’t given specifics, my guess is that where they want HMDs to be is to be fully wireless.

            I think that you’re right that they’re currently behind in the VR race, and that they really should start talking about their plans more, but I also feel like they think that now that they have a hardware advantage over the PS4 Pro they’re in a good position to wait to make sure that whatever they put out does all the things that they want because even if the PSVR 2.0 comes out later the One X will have the horsepower to make better experiences.

      • brubble

        Its like talking to a 3 year old. This MW guy is killing me.

    • MW

      Again – very a bad example. Car is used for transport. If I already have a car (like I have PC, console, or smartphone) I don’t need another car (in some aspects better in some worse than my current car). Price is irrelevant.
      If someone will make flying car – I want that – shut up and take my money!:) Cheap mobile VR is like trying to sell very weird car for people who already have normal cars. It won’t work, believe me. Because it looks like crap. And I don’t want a screen looks like crap. And I already have a better image on my PC/console/smartphone. Do you get it…?

      • brubble

        OH good god. YOU dont get it. YOU. DONT. GET. IT.
        You have to be trolling.

  • Kev

    Blows me away that Oculus’s goals are to move backwards. They are going full steam into the smartphone route that has a tiny attachment rate for vr titles. They seem to think VR is already good enough to repeatedly downgrade the hardware to decrease the price but honestly the experience could be oh so much better. Hopefully companies who push the envelope will do far better.

  • brubble

    oh man…just you never mind.

  • Blablablablablablabla7

    theyre mistake from the beginning is making there headsets depend on high end computers. That is for the rich amd elite and opposite of mainstream. if anything oculus should have made there own computer that is exclusively for vr. without wasting resources on other computer functions you can sell a cheaper computer with the headset. otherwise you are only selling to spoiled brats. the go is way better than the gear vr because all the power of the media player is dedicated to vr. A computer for the rift would have been the same idea! it would have been better than the spoiled brats high end computers.