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Oculus is planning a budget VR headset and you won’t need a phone or PC

While the Oculus Rift is currently at its most favourable price point yet, it’s still a tough sell given the need for a competent PC to handle the heavy lifting.

However, the gateway to quality VR experiences could swing open next year with reports Facebook-owned Oculus VR is plotting an affordable standalone headset that will not require at PC or a smartphone to run.

The self-contained unit will cost just $200 (around £160) when it ships next year, according to Bloomberg sources.

The device, codenamed Pacific, could even be unveiled before the end of the year, with Facebook hoping it’ll do for VR what the iPhone did for the smartphone industry.

Related: Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive

Facebook’s new device would offer more powerful gaming experiences than the Gear VR range it helps build for Samsung, but would lack the positional tracking abilities of the main Rift unit, the report says.

Whether the CPU and GPU tech packed into a cheaper, standalone headset could rival the quality of experience provided by the Rift remains to be seen.

This is likely to be the ‘sweet spot’ referred to by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the Oculus Connect developers’ show last year.

However, it’s also worth remembering the company is also working on a prototype dubbed Santa Cruz that would also be wireless, but still feature positional tracking.

Oculus Connect 4 is this October, so we can probably expect to see the announcement at that showcase.

The firm is likely to face competition from Google, with Mountain View also working on a standalone headset for its Daydream VR platform.

Could this be the affordable VR sweet spot to get you on board with virtual reality? Or are you all-in on high end experiences? Drop us a line in the comments section below.

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