Oculus Killer: A $49 DIY Portable VR Console

With mass production of Next Thing Co.’s PocketC.H.I.P. underway, gamers, hackers, and musicians hotly anticipating the device have a brand new reason to be excited: The $49 handheld superconsole now takes users into the endless grid of Virtual Reality.

CES and SXSW clearly established VR as 2016’s hottest technology, and everyone in Silicon Valley is racing to be a part of the trend. However, a large obstacle stands in the way of VR: cost. Early VR headsets are now entering the market with costs exceeding $600, keeping Virtual Reality out of most people’s actual reality.

Bucking this trend, Next Thing Co. – makers of 2015’s hottest item, the world’s first $9 computer – has announced the release of PockulusC.H.I.P. – a snap-on module that takes PocketC.H.I.P. out of people’s hands and straps it onto their faces, letting them dive into new and exciting cyberworlds. Designs are available to download for free from – so those excited can use 2014’s hottest tech trend, the 3D printer, to make their own Pockulus module today. Access to Virtual Reality is now $49and a trip to your local makerspace away, making PockulusC.H.I.P. the most affordable stand-alone VR headset the world has ever seen. PockulusC.H.I.P. allows everyone the full VR experience including VR roller coasters, a VR Coldplay concert, and even a different Coldplay concert (albeit from the same tour).

This is a shining example of the promise of PocketC.H.I.P. In addition to playing games and making music, PocketC.H.I.P. was designed to be built upon, hacked, and extended. A 3D printable Pockulus bezel is just the first of many amazing mods for PocketC.H.I.P., with more being developed. NTC is hoping to introduce a protective slip-on cover and bib to protect both the PocketC.H.I.P.’s keyboard and user’s shirt from “occasional” bouts of VR-related motion sickness very soon. A spokesperson for NTC said, “We’re so excited to get PocketC.H.I.P. into people’s hands and see what the C.H.I.P.ster community can do with perhaps the most customizable device ever built.”

“PockulusC.H.I.P. is for everybody whose parents wouldn’t buy them a Nintendo Virtual Boy no matter how much they asked or how much they cried,” NTC added. “Virtual Boy was way ahead of its time, and images of a red Mario playing tennis have haunted our dreams until this moment. We’re happy to finally catch up. With PockulusC.H.I.P., we hope to ensure that anyone who wants to experience VR now won’t have to wait 20 years in agony like we did.”

PocketC.H.I.P. is available for preorder at

Next Thing Co. is an Oakland based company of makers and creatives who build hardware, software, and low-cost consumer products.