Mar 1, 2017

Facebook cuts price of Oculus Rift amid growing VR pains

Marco Verch / Flickr cc

Facebook is slashing prices on its Oculus virtual reality headset and controller by $100 each as it tries to make the device appeal to more people. With the cut, the combined package sells for $598, substantially cheaper than HTC's $799 Vive and closer in price to Sony's $399 PlayStation VR. The Rift can also be purchased, sans controller, for $499.

Facebook paid more than $2 billion for Oculus back in 2014, but has hit a number of struggles along the way, including shipping delays and a $500 million payout to ZeniMax. Virtual Reality remains in its infancy and high-end systems like Oculus and HTC require a top-line computer in addition to the pricey headset. Mobile options — like Google's Daydream and Samsung's Gear VR (developed with Oculus) — allow people to get a taste of VR with a far smaller investment, and have dominated the still-nascent market.

"We are cutting the price to bring VR to more people, and that's always been our goal," Brendan Iribe, Oculus co-founder, told USA Today. "We've said all along making money on the hardware was not our goal," added Jason Rubin, the company's VP.

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CDC: Coronavirus antibodies could give "short-term immunity," but more data is needed

CDC Director Robert Redfield briefs reporters on April 8. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Coronavirus antibody tests are still relatively unreliable, and it's unclear if people who get the virus are immune to getting it again, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned on Tuesday.

What they're saying: The agency explicitly warned against using antibody tests to determine whether someone should return to work or to group people within schools or prisons.

Trump accuses Twitter of interfering in 2020 election

President Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

President Trump responded via tweets Tuesday evening to Twitter fact-checking him for the first time on his earlier unsubstantiated posts claiming mail-in ballots in November's election would be fraudulent.

What he's saying: "Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election.They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post," the president tweeted. "Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!"

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,584,091 — Total deaths: 349,894 — Total recoveries — 2,284,242Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,680,301 — Total deaths: 98,875 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: CDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy