Oculus Go is the $199 standalone VR headset you’ve been waiting for

Facebook-owned Oculus VR has announced a new standalone VR headset that’ll free users from the need to connect to a PC or smartphone.

The Oculus Go will cost $199 and will ship early in 2018 and is “hands-down the easiest way to get into VR,” according to Oculus boss Hugo Barra.

Oculus Go features a 2560 x 1440 fast-switch LCD display with new lenses, as well as built-in spatial audio, minus the need for headphones.

Barra says the display has a higher pixel fill factor than an OLED display, meaning you’ll get less of the screen door effect where gaps are visible between lines of pixels.

Related: Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive

There are also cameras on the front of the headset using computer vision tech to help with positional tracking. In terms of design it will ship with a mesh fabric and an elastic strap.

The Oculus Go will be a middle ground between devices like the sub-$100 smartphone-powered Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR and the high end PC-powered headsets like the original Rift and HTC Vive.

Apps built for the Gear VR will also work on the Oculus Go, Facebook explained.

One billion in VR?

It’ll go on sale at some point early next year, but developers will be able to grab it from next month.

Seeing as Mark Zuckerberg just announced the ambitious goal of getting 1 billion people in VR, it seems the Oculus Go will have a major role to play.

Zuck called it the “most accessible VR headset ever.”

New Santa Cruz prototype

We should point out that the Oculus Go is not the device codenamed Santa Cruz. That’s another, higher-end standalone VR headset with inside out tracking.

During the Oculus Connect event on Wednesday, the company debuted a new prototype Santa Cruz, featuring a more polished design.

It now looks more like the consumer Rift and newer versions of the Oculus Touch controllers. It will begin shipping to developers early next year.

Speaking of the Rift, Facebook has announced that the summer promotional price of $399/£399 for the headset and Touch controllers bundle is now permanent.

Will you be grabbing the Oculus Go when it launches in 2018? Drop us a line with your thoughts @TrustedReviews on Twitter.