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VOL. 43 | NO. 17 | Friday, April 26, 2019

Facebook takes another stab at virtual reality

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SAN JOSE, California (AP) — Facebook will launch its latest attempt to widen the appeal of artificial worlds on May 21 with this release of its Oculus Quest headset.

The company unveiled its plans for the Oculus Quest last fall without disclosing when the $399 headset would be available. Facebook has been trying to get more people hooked on virtual reality since it bought Oculus for $2 billion five years ago. It's had little success so far.

The Quest's release will be accompanied by a new twist on the original Oculus Rift headset. The new version, called Rift S, also will cost $399. It won't require being tethered to a high-priced personal computer, as the original Oculus Rift did.

Facebook also disclosed plans to start selling its video calling device, Portal, in Canada and Europe later this year. The device debuted in the U.S. during last year's holiday season. The company is also adding its WhatsApp service to Portal for users who want to use encrypted messaging to shield their conversations from prying eyes.

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