We are getting one step closer to full virtual reality (VR) as Facebook releases a $199 standalone VR device. VR enthusiasts will revel in the Oculus Go, which apparently doesn’t need phones and PCs to function.
Facebook did this reveal in the Oculus Connect conference for developers. The device, true enough, wouldn’t need anymore external hardware to make connections. According to CNET, the headset will be released in the market early next year (2018).
Mark Zuckerberg told fans before the preview that the Oculus Go will be Facebook’s move towards “a billion people” in VR.
Fans will cringe a bit for the price, however, as the device is $199. When converted, it’s AU$255 or roughly £150. Enthusiasts, too, will ask the queston: Will it be worth the price?
In a new blog post, Oculus Vice President for Virtual Reality Hugo Barra explained more features of the Oculus Go. As other “go” devices imply, Oculus Go is an “on the go” VR device that wouldn’t need any external connections. This means you can seamlessly go to VR with the device alone.
Oculus Go Features
As elaborated in the blog post, the device itself comes with a wide variety of features as well. Barra explains that the device will have:
- “Super lightweight” design for its fabric, as well as straps made from mesh fabric. This might imply that the Oculus Go will be much lighter than previous iterations of Oculus devices.
- Inner foam construction layers will apparently conform to the face of the wearer. This will make having an Oculus Go a personal experience, as it fits its users best.
- As for display, it will have what appears to be a “fast-switch” feature for its 2,560 x 1,440 pixel LCD. In fact, Barra said it will have next generation lenses to provide outstanding clarity that wasn’t “seen” in VR tech before.
- Audio-wise, it will have a 3.5mm jack for headphone enthusiasts, and spacial audio thanks to its built-in speakers.
- Control junkies will delight in a single-motion controller that has three degress of freedom.
- Aside from these features, it appears Oculus Go will be compatible with Samsung Gear VR games as well, as both devices are now compatible.
Unfortunately, not much was described about the specifics of graphics fidelity and the expected battery life from the device. It can be remembered that some high-end devices need PCs or even consoles to get graphical and battery support.
However, if Facebook and Oculus manage to pull this off, then the $199 device will perhaps be the cheapest way to enter the VR industry. Although Samsung Gear VR and Google’s Daydream View are less than $100, they still need high-end devices that range in the mid-$500 price range to work.
Although the device will be made officially available to the market in “early 2018,” there will apparently be kits for developers as early as November. This isn’t the first project to aim for a standalone device, however, as Facebook also has its Santa Cruz VR headset that is also standalone.