Oculus working on more affordable VR

Oculus, the virtual reality company owned by Facebook, is working on a new headset in an attempt to make the technology more affordable.

On stage in San Jose, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged the prohibitive cost of the current Oculus Rift headset.

During the presentation he also demonstrated software for interacting with friends in virtual reality.

Missing, however, was the Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey.

The 23-year-old, normally a fixture of the company’s events, was recently revealed to be funding an online campaign in support of Presidential candidate Donald Trump. He later apologised.

A spokesman told the BBC Mr Luckey did not attend the event as he wanted to avoid being a “distraction” to the day's announcements.

Mr Luckey was not mentioned, nor did he appear in any of the promotion videos shown during the keynote presentation.

Technology analyst Ben Woods, from CCS Insight, said Mr Luckey’s role at the company may be limited in future.

“I think even without that distraction, which was unfortunate, he probably wouldn’t have had a big role here anyway.

"The company has moved on from someone jumping on stage in flip-flops and Hawaiian shirts saying crazy stuff - it has to professionalise if this is to be a cornerstone of Facebook’s future."

Holy grail

The event, Oculus’s third ever developer conference, comes as it faces fierce competition in the VR market.

Earlier this week Google showed the first version of Daydream VR, its headset which is powered by mobile phone.

And next week Sony is set to launch its PlayStation VR headset. It will work with the PlayStation 4 console, making it a considerably cheaper than the Oculus - though not as powerful.

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