Facebook’s Oculus Connect 3 And The Future Of Virtual Reality, By Anshel Sag

As you may know, Facebook FB +0.14% bought Oculus back in 2014 for a cool $2 billion. This deal kick started a VR revolution and has accelerated the worlds of AR and VR. However, Oculus has had major challenges since being acquired and has struggled to deliver products on time; Oculus delivered its Oculus Rift headset later than expected due to some logistics and production issues. However, the company is looking to reboot its VR platform with the launch of their delayed Oculus Touch controllers which were originally supposed to launch alongside the Rift VR headset.

Oculus Connect is the company’s own developer conference and show designed to showcase the latest from the company and connect the company to its developers. At Oculus Connect the company primarily focused on content for Oculus Touch and rebooting the Rift brand with new Touch games. The company also announced the ability to enable room-scale VR which is what their competitor already has in the HTC HTCCY +% Vive. The fundamental problem with Oculus’ solution is that it costs as much as HTC’s but doesn’t deliver room-scale unless you buy an additional third camera for $79 bringing the cost of a full Oculus Rift + Touch solution to almost $900.

Competitively, Touch is a must for Oculus and Facebook to increase immersion inside VR. Xbox controllers are a poor tool for VR and don’t engage the user like moving your hands around does. This helps Oculus finally reach somewhat feature parity with HTC…6 months later and for more money, which will not be lost on consumers. The good thing for Oculus is that they have developed a new way of improving VR latency through a technique called ASW (Asynchronous Space Warp) which is different from the previous technique called ATW (Asynchronous Time Warp). This allows Oculus to further reduce the performance requirement of an Oculus Rift down to an NVIDIA NVDA +1.63% GTX 960 which is a significantly larger potential install base of gamers and PCs.

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