Oculus Santa Cruz hands-on: The greatest trick the VR devil ever pulled [Updated]

Enlarge / Look, ma: no wires! On a decent VR headset, at that! Say hello to Oculus Santa Cruz 2.0. (credit: Oculus)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Last year, Oculus unveiled ambitious plans for a totally wireless virtual reality headset, and the idea sounded great… until we tried it . The company’s “Santa Cruz” prototype was impressive enough at first blush, thanks to an “inside-out” tracking system that removed complications like wires, webcams, and tracking boxes. But our eyes-on experience was so-so at best and bumpy at worst.

What a difference a year makes.

Oculus’ latest Santa Cruz prototype still has a few significant question marks, but 15 minutes of exploring, waving, throwing, and shooting, all without wires or glitches, made us start to believe that decent, wireless VR might arrive way sooner than we’d previously expected.

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