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Facebook's next Oculus VR headset could be coming soon, evidence suggests

The company's been hinting that a hardware announcement is coming to Oculus Connect in September.

Is new Oculus hardware coming soon?
Gabrielle Lurie / AFP/Getty Images

The signs seem to be pointing toward the imminent release of Facebook's next Oculus VR headset. 

The company is looking at the first quarter of 2019 to launch its higher-end standalone VR headset, code-named Santa Cruz, according to UploadVR. Like the Oculus Go, the next headset is designed to work without a PC, but "with cameras added for inside-out tracking of 6DOF head movement and two Oculus Touch-style controllers," the publication said.

An Oculus representative told UploadVR: "We can't comment on future plans or announcements, but I can tell you that [Oculus Connect 5] will be really exciting."

An Oculus representative also told CNET that the company can't comment on future plans or announcements. Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Oculus Connect 5 is set to take place on Sept. 26 and 27, and is expected to provide official information on when the company's next headset will be released. It's also rumored that Santa Cruz works in a range of environments, including outdoors, UploadVR reported.

Another hint that a hardware announcement is imminent is the interesting choice of wording on this Oculus Connect 5 ad, which Reddit user BennyFackter pointed out Tuesday: "Be the first to get hands on with the next generation of virtual reality."

In response to a TechCrunch story on Facebook's speech recognition feature, a representative of the social network said, "We test stuff all the time - nothing to share today but my team will be in touch in a few weeks about hardware news coming from the AR/VR org."

Only time -- and maybe some more not-so-subtle hints along the way -- will tell. 

First published Aug. 22, 2:43 p.m. PT.
Update, 3:39 p.m.: Adds that Oculus declined to comment.
Clarification, 4:05 p.m.: Santa Cruz is a prototype of a wireless standalone headset, and is not related to Rift.