Facebook just announced plans to sell a pretty cheap standalone VR headset

Key Points
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced the $199 Oculus Go on Wednesday
  • It's a $199 VR headset that will launch early next year.
  • The Oculus Go is all-in-one which means it doesn't require a phone or a computer to work
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
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CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Wednesday the Oculus Go, a standalone VR headset that will cost $199 and launches early next year.

Zuckerberg didn't talk much about the product but noted that it will fill an important void between mobile VR headsets — which don't offer advanced features but are affordable — and more sophisticated products such as the Oculus Rift, which require expensive computers. He revealed the headset during the Oculus Connect 4 developer conference on Wednesday,

Facebook's head of VR, Hugo Barra, said the headset features the next generation of lenses from the ones in the Oculus Rift. It has a special built-in display with wide viewing angles and sharp images to avoid the "screen door" effect that viewers sometimes experience if they see pixels. It will ship with speakers — which means you don't need headphones if you don't want them — and has support for the Gear VR library of apps, and a standalone controller.

"[It's] hands down the easiest way for people to get into VR," Barra said. "We think people are going to spend a lot more time in VR when they get a standalone device."

Oculus for Business

Barra also announced a new Oculus for Business initiative in which it will allow companies to place bulk orders for Oculus Rift headsets. "Oculus for Business is for companies who want to explore VR to create new workflows," Barra explained, noting that Audi is using Rift products in dealerships to cater to customers. Oculus will also sell bundles to businesses that include Rift, controllers and an extra sensor for room-scale VR. Businesses will also get a full VR commercial license, a warranty and dedicated customer support.

Santa Cruz

Zuckerberg and Barra also briefly talked about the Oculus Santa Cruz, which until now has only been known as a prototype the company was working on.

Santa Cruz headsets, which are also standalone and aren't wired to a PC, will launch next year. These headsets support Oculus' "inside out tracking" capabilities. That means the headset doesn't require special sensors inside a room but rather can determine a user's location as one walks around a space, such as a room in the real world, using sensors built on the headset.

CNBC's Sara Salinas contributed to this report.