Oculus Santa Cruz: What We Know So Far

The Oculus Rift is one of our favourite VR headsets. The high-end device is a joy to use and comes in an increasingly close second place to the HTC Vive.

However, it’s a little pricey and requires a pretty hefty gaming rig to run it.

We also love the Oculus Go.

As one of the first standalone VR devices on the market, it’s an affordable way to get a mobile VR experience and doesn’t require any external connections.

Unfortunately, it only provides 3DoF tracking for both the headset and controller. If only there was a device that bridges the gap between the two headsets. Well, thankfully Oculus is working on just that; project Oculus Santa Cruz. In this post, we take a look at everything we know so far about the highly anticipated headset.

Oculus Santa Cruz Specs and Features

The device will feature 6DoF tracking for both the headset and the controllers. This feature is potentially game-changing…

We’ve had a few glimpses at the Oculus Santa Cruz over the last little while, and there’s plenty to be excited about. The device will feature 6DoF tracking for both the headset and the controllers. This feature is potentially game-changing, as it means you’ll be able to get the ‘full’ VR experience without the need for an external connection. Four front-facing cameras will give inside-out tracking of your environment and movements in it. This tracking method is something we saw with the Acer Mixed Reality headset, although hopefully, Oculus can provide a better version.

Oculus Santa Cruz Headset Prototype - worn by a man, closeup.
A prototype of the Santa Cruz headset by Oculus

The Santa Cruz will likely feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, in addition to the on-board RAM, storage and battery. The processor means that the graphical quality won’t be up to the same level as the Rift or Vive, but we’re confident that Oculus can squeeze every last ounce of performance from the headset. It should be more advanced than the Oculus Go or Samsung Gear VR, for example.

Oculus Santa Cruz Price

We’ve heard no word yet of a final release price, although we expect to hear more at Oculus Connect 5 in September 2018. It will be interesting to see where Oculus position this headset. Similar standalone headsets like the Lenovo Mirage Solo are priced around £349/$399, which is close to that of the Oculus Rift. The Oculus Go, on the other hand, starts at only $199/£199. Hopefully, the Santa Cruz (which will most likely go by a different name at release) will fall somewhere on that scale, most likely towards the top end.

Oculus Santa Cruz Release Date

A man wearing the Oculus Santa Cruz Headset in a room.

As with the price, we’ve had no word yet of an exact release date. 2019 is looking likely, although Oculus could surprise us with news at the Connect 5 conference. With other standalone headsets such as the HTC Vive Focus being scheduled for release later this year, we’re intrigued to see whether Oculus can work to a similar timescale.

Final Thoughts

The Oculus Santa Cruz and similar headsets will bring us to a new era of VR headsets. The Facebook-owned company has done a lot to progress the field of virtual reality, and they have the potential to do so again with their next generation of devices. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we learn more.

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