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Wearable Tech

You may have to wait for Oculus Go until Facebook's May event

Facebook's upcoming $199 cordless headset reportedly won't arrive for a couple more months.

oculus-go-hero

The Oculus Go.

Sean Hollister/CNET

Can't wait till you can buy a relatively inexpensive VR headset that doesn't need a PC or phone? You may need to wait a tad longer than we originally thought. Variety reports that the $199 Oculus Go headset will launch at Facebook's F8 developer conference on May 1. 

While that's not technically a delay, it definitely stretches the company's original promise of "early 2018." 

It is a little surprising, though, because images of what appeared to be near-final Oculus Go headsets were uploaded to Reddit last month, as developers began to receive their units, and because the Oculus Go may face an increasing number of competing headsets the longer Facebook waits. 

That includes HTC's Vive Focus, which the company revealed last November, and the Lenovo/Google Mirage Solo that we saw at CES in January, but also potentially others as Qualcomm pushes for companies to use its new VR-ready chips.

The Oculus Go is important to Facebook because the company believes less expensive, accessible headsets are the way to reach a lofty goal: "We want to get a billion people in virtual reality," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, at the Oculus Go unveil last October. Xiaomi will have its own version of the Oculus Go for the Chinese market.  

It's interesting, but not surprising that Facebook would launch the Go at its own developer conference instead of an Oculus-branded event. Facebook has been slowly absorbing the once-indepedent Oculus ever since its co-founder, Palmer Luckey, became embroiled in scandal. 

Plus, Facebook VP of VR/AR Andrew Bosworth tweeted last month that the conference would include "the biggest AR/VR news from Facebook to date."

Facebook declined to comment.

Disclosure: Sean's wife works for Facebook as a business-to-business video producer.