Facebook reveals Oculus Quest standalone VR headset

Oculus Quest

During its fifth Oculus Connect conference in San Jose, Facebook and Oculus finally pulled the curtain back on its Project Santa Cruz standalone virtual reality (VR) headset. It's known as Oculus Quest and operates completely independently of a PC or smartphone.

The headset is currently slated to hit shelves for $399 (about £302, AU$550) in the middle of next year – Spring 2019 in North America, according to Facebook.

The headset, which doesn't require a PC or any tracking cameras, will offer six degrees of freedom (6DOF) tracking and will come with Touch controllers. Oculus Go, the standalone VR headset unveiled at last year's developer conference, only supports three degrees, or 3DOF.

Oculus Quest relies on four ultra-wide sensors located in the headset itself to map your environment and help track the Touch controllers.

According to Facebook, over 50 games and experiences for Oculus Quest at launch – including a new Star Wars VR experience – with more coming shortly after that.

Freedom from the wires

Oculus Quest uses a technology called Oculus Insight that helps track the headset without the use of room sensors. Insight scans the room using the four ultra-wide sensors and takes a map of the environment. Then, using the sensors inside the headset that include gyroscopes and accelerometers, Oculus Quest can track your movement in a one-to-one way. 

According to Facebook VR Lead Hugo Barra, Oculus Insight will support a multi-room guardian feature that will keep you in a safe play space within several rooms. This way, you can take the device throughout the house and to friends and family's houses, which the device remembers over time.

Speaking of play spaces, Oculus announced new additions to Oculus Home that will enable more customizable environments and expressive avatars.

We'll be bringing you more news from Oculus Connect 5, plus our hands-on first impressions of Oculus Quest, so keep checking back here.

Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.