If you’re one of the many who have not been able to experience a virtual reality headset to its fullest because of price, Mark Zuckerberg’s Oculus newest VR headset announcement could be your ticket.
The introductory VR headsets, like Google Cardboard, give you a taste of what virtual reality is, not what it can be. That’s where the new Oculus Go is trying to bridge the gap. Affordable and capable.
Review of Oculus Go
Let’s face it, the leading VR headsets, including the Rift, are pretty unwieldy and complicated. They’re also expensive for anyone who isn’t already a gaming enthusiast.
The Oculus Go solves both of these barriers for the average consumer. It’s priced at $199 and it is a self-contained system that doesn’t need a PC to work.
It’s also pretty and lightweight, something the other headsets struggle with. The Oculus Go will be glasses-friendly and use Wi-Fi for complete comfort.
All of this is done without any big sacrifice in capability. In fact, the lenses on the headset are next-gen WQHD 2560×1440 with a faster shutter/transition speed than what other LCD displays offer.
The Oculus Go has fully integrated a spatial sound system that allows for a virtual soundstage.
All of this portability, affordability, and functionality comes with some trade-offs, of course.
There won’t be any positional tracking support for the headset or controllers.
The processor won’t be anything more powerful than a Snapdragon 821(10% faster than a Samsung Galaxy S7), so it is essentially a high-end mobile phone with regards to gaming capabilities.
If you’re not a hardcore gamer by any measure, then you really don’t have anything to worry about.
The Oculus Go is the obvious step forward for VR advancement. Those who want more, they can find the Oculus Rift at its new price of $399.
Leading the Way Forward
On paper, Oculus Go is a jump ahead of its competitors. There’s no one else prepared to capitalize on this unserved demographic: the midrange VR market.
That used to be occupied by Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR, but those aren’t truly affordable VR solutions for the type of experience that Oculus is offering.
With the Oculus Go, people will now be able to watch Netflix and Hulu shows in a virtual theater setting, read the news, browse the web, and play interactive VR games.
Facebook is also working towards virtual community spaces with their “virtual room” feature. They’re fully invested in a future where virtual reality is as ubiquitous as streaming TV—it took $3 billion to acquire Oculus, so the new “Go” will be one to watch next year.
I don’t know about you, but I whole-heartedly welcome more virtual reality in life. Reality can be pretty ugly these days.