Facebook’s virtual reality (VR) platform Oculus will release its first hardware product later this year.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the Oculus Rift, or the Oculus Ready, on Thursday at the Code Conference in San Francisco.
“We want to build a platform that will empower developers and enable users to make experiences that are truly immersive,” Zuckerberg said.
The Oculus Ready will have a price tag of $599 and will come with an Oculus Touch controller.
It is expected to launch sometime in 2019, but Oculus hasn’t yet announced any specific launch window for the platform.
Facebook is also releasing the first-ever consumer version of its virtual reality headset, the Oculus Touch, on March 8.
“The next few months will see a new evolution of VR as we introduce more immersive experiences to consumers,” Zuckerberg wrote.
“In the meantime, we’ve made a few big changes to the Oculus ecosystem that will deliver a richer experience for developers and make the Oculus team even more excited about the future.”
Oculus has been on the hunt for a VR headset that can compete with Google’s Google Cardboard headset.
The company has been trying to get VR headsets that can interact with users to become available for purchase, and its hardware partners have been hesitant to make a move.
Facebook’s own Cardboard was developed by Oculus for use in schools and universities.
“While we’ve been building the Cardboard platform, we also built the Oculus platform,” Zuckerberg added.
“And we’ve had a lot of feedback from the community on the way the platform works.”
Facebook has not revealed a date for the first Oculus Ready release, but a spokesperson told Business Insider the platform will be available at the beginning of 2019.
Zuckerberg also mentioned the company will also introduce an upgraded version of the Oculus Cardboard, a $999 headset, later this month.
Oculus is planning to launch an updated version of Oculus Touch in early 2020.
Zuckerberg’s announcement about Oculus Ready was accompanied by a statement that the company is developing a “more refined” version of VR for mobile devices.
The announcement was a bit surprising because the company had previously announced a version of virtual reality that it called the Oculus Universal, which was meant to compete with Samsung’s Gear VR headset.
Zuckerberg said the new VR “will be the future” for the company.
“As we’re constantly learning new technologies, we’re always finding ways to make VR more useful for people who don’t yet have it,” Zuckerberg told Business News Today.
“When it comes to the next generation of VR, we want to give our users the best experiences they ever had.”