Oculus' Sean Liu announces pre-orders for the Rift S and Quest headsets. Photo: Facebook

While much of the focus at Facebook's F8 conference was on the changes it's making to the core platform and its messaging apps, its moves in virtual reality highlight a new wave of products coming to market.

Why it matters: The last coming of VR fell far short of estimates. HTC, Valve and Facebook's Oculus all have new and improved hardware, but it's unclear whether consumers and content developers are ready to take another plunge.

  • Aware of this, both HTC and Oculus are taking aim at businesses as well, with Facebook using F8 to announce a renewed Oculus for Business effort.
  • While not as flashy as the consumer market, there has been steady interest in VR and augmented reality from businesses looking to improve training, prototyping and safety.

Driving the news:

  • Facebook yesterday announced pre-orders for its standalone Oculus Quest and its PC-based Rift S, both of which sell for $399, plus its relaunch of Oculus for Business focused on the standalone Oculus Go and Quest headsets.
  • Valve's high-end, PC-based Index headset goes on sale Wednesday for $999, challenging the Vive Pro at the high-end of the gaming market.
  • Meanwhile, HTC's $799 Vive Focus Plus went on sale April 15, offering improved optics and 6-degrees-of-freedom control in a standalone headset aimed at enterprise customers.

Our thought bubble: New hardware is nice, but it's hard to see the consumer market, in particular, taking off until we get a convergence of affordable, powerful headsets and content.

Go deeper

Updated 24 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Tim Scott says Trump "misspoke" when he told Proud Boys to "stand by"

Photo: Bonnie Cash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters on Wednesday that he believes President Trump "misspoke" when he told the far-right "Proud Boys" group to "stand back and stand by" in response to a question about condemning white supremacy at the first presidential debate.

Catch up quick: Moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump on Tuesday, "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?" Trump asked who specifically he should condemn, and then responded, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left."

Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Commission on Presidential Debates wants changes

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Wednesday that it plans to implement changes to rules for the remaining debates, after Tuesday night's head-to-head between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was practically incoherent for most of the night.

What they are saying: "Last night's debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues," the CPD said in a statement.

Trump says he doesn't know who Proud Boys are after telling them to "stand by"

President Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he doesn't know who the Proud Boys are, after saying at the presidential debate last night that the far-right group should "stand back and stand by" in response to a question asking him to condemn white supremacists.

Why it matters: The comments set off outrage and calls for clarification from a number of Republican senators. After being asked several times on Wednesday whether he will condemn white supremacy, Trump responded, "I have always denounced any form — any form of any of that, you have to denounce. But I also — Joe Biden has to say something about antifa."

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