Oculus demoed one of the first VR headsets back at CES 2014. Now the Oculus Rift has sparked a VR revolution with the HTC Vive, Google DayDream, and Gear VR all competing for viability. There are some significant drawbacks to the Vive and Rift. Both are expensive headsets, around $499, and require an even more costly gaming PC. Google Daydream and Gear VR both rely on phones to power the headsets, but that creates low-quality VR experiences. Today, Oculus Go is a standalone VR headset that’ll live in between the Gear VR and Oculus Rift. It’s essentially a Gear VR with a none removable Android phone.
At $199 it’s significantly less than the $499 Oculus Rift but only slightly more expensive than the $129 Gear VR. The Gear VR requires you to have a Samsung phone, which not everyone has. This is an all-in-one system. It’s at an affordable price point and without all the hassle of plugging into a computer.
Oculus Go is for the next billion VR users
At the $199 price point, it’ll be affordable to more and require less technical skill to set up. I imagine seeing grandparents wanting to use this system after trying it at a Bestbuy. I also could see kids having these VR headsets as their gaming systems instead of wanting an Xbox or even a phone. The Oculus Go doesn’t come out till 2018, but everyone is already saying how they want to pre-order the headset.
Oculus Go uses “high-resolution fast-switch LCD screen” running at 2560 x 1440. There is spatial audio built into the headset, which can be used without headphones. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack to connect headphones. The lenses offer “a wide field of view with a significantly reduced glare.” In fact, Oculus promises the same field of view as the Rift. The new fabric is more breathable and comfier than other materials used for the Gear VR or Google Daydream. Oculus Go uses the same controller as Gear VR, and Gear VR games will work across the two headsets. The compatibility will give developers access to millions of users, and provide the Oculus Go thousands of games and experinces at launch.
Oculus Go dev kits will begin shipping in November 2017. The full consumer launch will happen in 2018. The Oculus Go doesn’t have any spacial tracking or room-scale VR, which allows it to reach such a low price point.
Let me know what you think about the Oculus Go and whether you’re going to buy it come 2018!