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Facebook Hopes To Goose VR Headset Sales With Lower Prices | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis


Facebook (FB) stock notched its second record high in as many days Thursday on a report that the social media giant later this year plans to introduce a low-cost wireless virtual reality headset.

XAutoplay: On | OffFacebook has been unsuccessful in its attempts so far to turn its Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets into a mass-market consumer device. The market for its VR headsets has been limited by a high price for the device ($600) and the need for it to be paired with a high-end, $1,000-plus PC.

Facebook is looking to release a VR headset that doesn’t need to be tethered to a PC or smartphone and would sell for as little as $200, Bloomberg reported Thursday. It is expected to ship in 2018 and represent a new midrange category between low-end devices that use a smartphone display (such as the Samsung Gear VR) and high-end headsets linked to game consoles or PCs, it said.

The new headset will be geared toward immersive gaming, watching surround video and social networking, just like current model Oculus headsets, Bloomberg said.

Facebook stock rose 0.2% to 159.26 on the stock market today. Intraday it hit an all-time high of 159.78.

IBD’S TAKE: Facebook is one of the four closely watched internet giants in the FANG group, with the others being Amazon, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet. For the latest news on the group, visit IBD’s page on FANG stocks.

Facebook’s Oculus Rift competes mainly with Sony‘s (SNE) $500 PlayStation VR, which is an accessory for the company’s PlayStation 4 game console. Sony has sold about 1 million PlayStation VR units to date.

On Monday, Facebook announced a six-week promotion in which the combined price of the Rift headset and its optional Touch hand controllers falls to $399, vs. the regular combined price of $598.

It marked the second price drop for Oculus Rift in just over four months. In March, Facebook lowered the Rift-Touch combination to $598 from $798.

Facebook acquired the company behind Oculus for about $2 billion in 2014.


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