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Facebook starts shipping Oculus Go headsets for $199

  • Mark Zuckerberg delivered the keynote address at Facebook's annual F8 developer conference Tuesday.
  • The conference, often an opportunity to announce new developer tools or hardware, comes amid a broader discussion of policy and privacy for the company.
  • The firestorm around the Cambridge Analytica data leak was set off by reports that an app developer mishandled sensitive user information.
Mark Zuckerberg wearing the Oculus virtual reality headset.
Glenn Chapman | Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg wearing the Oculus virtual reality headset.

Facebook's new virtual reality headset, Oculus Go, will ship on Tuesday for $199 — a more affordable alternative to the company's high-end devices.

Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch when he delivered the keynote address at Facebook's annual F8 developer conference Tuesday. He said it has 1,000 apps and has the highest quality lenses that Oculus has built into any device.

"It's the easiest way to get into VR and we think this is going to be how a lot of people experience virtual reality and virtual presence for the first time," Zuckerberg said.

The product represents a major step forward for Oculus, after the departure of co-founder Palmer Luckey over a year ago. Last year, Zuckerberg asked investors for more "patience" around Oculus, saying the company was "a little behind" and timing was a "disappointment." Facebook also endured a high-profile legal battle over Oculus intellectual property last year.

Everyone at the conference was awarded a free Oculus Go device.

The social media giant in March delayed the launch of a long-reported smart speaker, according to news reports. But two sources told CNBC that Facebook is mulling a plan to sell its upcoming smart speakers internationally before launching them in the U.S.