Oculus makes news for planning rumoured wireless headset. Join the club.

The unfortunately beleaguered headset maker Facebook Oculus made the news at Bloomberg for a rumoured wireless headset that, according to the outlet, would define a “new class” of VR headsets that is neither a phone nor just a PC display. Unfortunately, while it may indeed serve to advance the VR space, it’s neither first nor a new class.

First, let’s consider whether it is new. It is not. Google has been preparing its standalone VR headset, “Daydream with WorldSense”, partnering with HTC to bring it “later this year“. It is likely that the Oculus response is predicated in part on this; the big question will be if Oculus will bring its ecosystem to Android or continue to run its own race. Somehow, I suspect they’re tempted to still try and build their own ecosystem.

Second, let’s consider whether this is a new “class” or not. Both the HTC “wireless” headset and the Oculus one likely have more in common with the Gear VR and Google Cardboard than anything else. They are basically phones that are permanently wedged in a VR headset with no other job to do. It’s not as if there isn’t precedent; the Rift DK2 was quite literally the screen from a Galaxy Note 3 — logo, camera, home button cutouts — wedged permanently in the DK2 headset.

To recap: Not a new class, not first, and probably with their own ecosystem. It remains to be seen if Facebook/Oculus can take the VR world by storm, but they are not making great indications of it so far.

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