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Facebook launches Oculus Go standalone VR headset

Facebook has launched its new Oculus Go standalone virtual reality headset in a move that many observers hope will kickstart mass adoption of VR.

The Oculus Go costs US$199 in the US – with the same price point in sterling for the UK market – for a version with 32GB of onboard storage and US$249 for a 64GB version.

The new device, which was launched at the F8 Facebook developers conference, costs far less than comparable standalone headsets.

The headset is designed to compete with devices that work by users placing their mobile phones inside a headset shell and is designed to provide a smoother and more compelling experience, controlled by Facebook rather than the app on a mobile.

The device is much cheaper than Oculus’ flagship Rift headset, which starts at US$399, and doesn’t require a computer to function.

The Oculus Go comes with Oculus TV, a 3D VR space that features a viewing screen for watching media in a virtual social environment that will be exclusive to the Go at launch.

In addition to games and other experiences, video-centric apps for the Oculus Go include Al Jazeera Contrast VR, which is also available on Samsung Gear devices, Melody VR, a VR concert going experience, and International Space Station Tour from The House of Fables.