Facebook took to the stage during the Oculus Connect 4 event in October 2017 to reveal the Oculus Go VR headset, a new affordable VR headset offered alongside the Oculus Rift that doesn’t require a smartphone or PC to operate.
That’s right, the Oculus Go is the company’s first all-in-one VR headset, negating the need to awkwardly slide your smartphone in or out, or avoid tripping on bulky wires when in the virtual world.
More news about the upcoming Oculus Go headset surfaced during CES 2018, where some of the specs were revealed. Here, we present the latest news and everything you need to know about the Oculus Go, including release date rumours, UK pricing, design and features.
When is the Oculus Go release date?
Following the reveal of Facebook’s Oculus Go headset in October 2017, the company announced that the standalone headset would first go on-sale to developers in November 2017. This gives developers time to create content for the platform before it becomes available to the public, and should help Facebook to shift more units.
But when will the Oculus Go become available to the masses? There’s no solid release date in place just yet, but Facebook has confirmed that the VR headset will be available in the UK, US and a handful of other countries at launch.
How much will Oculus Go cost in the UK?
Now that we know roughly when to expect the Oculus Go to become available in the UK, how much will it cost? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg announced that the new VR headset would be much cheaper than the existing £399 Oculus Rift, but didn’t divulge UK pricing.
Zuckerburg did confirm a $199 US price tag however, leading us to believe that the standalone VR headset will cost £199 in the UK.
How does that compare to the competition? Let’s take a look at the Samsung Gear VR, a mobile-powered VR headset that should provide a similar experience to what’ll be available on the Go. The Gear VR headset and controller will set you back £119 in the UK and still requires a high-end smartphone for use.
For £80 more, Oculus Go provides both the headset and controller and doesn’t require a smartphone for use, making it a tempting option for fans of virtual reality. Pre-orders are yet to open but we’ll be sure to update this section with retailers as soon as it becomes available.
What does Oculus Go look like?
The Oculus Go will look largely like the Oculus Rift: a viewer with three adjustable head straps that should keep the headset secure without being too tight or uncomfortable. While on the subject of comfort, the Oculus Go features a breathable mesh fabric for the facial padding that should help negate some of the sweatiness found after long stints in VR.
The headset is also said to be lighter than the Oculus Rift, although there’s no specifics on weight or dimensions available just yet. You can also wave goodbye to the annoying cables that anchor down the likes of the Rift, Vive and PlayStation VR as the Oculus Go is completely wireless.
To go along with the headset is a handheld controller similar to that offered by Samsung’s Gear VR. It doesn’t boast full motion tracking like the Oculus Touch controllers, but instead offers basic motion tracking - and we don’t think this is only to keep costs down.
In fact, it makes it much easier for developers to create content for Gear VR and Oculus Go at the same time if there are similarities between the headsets.
What does Oculus Go feature?
Mark Zuckerburg wants to put one billion people in VR, and thinks that this is the way forward. But how? Let’s talk specifics.
Of course, the flagship feature of the Oculus Go that makes it stand out from the likes of Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR is that it doesn’t require any additional power to provide VR experiences.
Mobile headsets like Gear VR and Google Daydream require a high-end smartphone to be the ‘brains’ of the headset while the likes of the Rift and Vive need a powerful computer.
Oculus Go, on the other hand, features everything it needs inside the headset, providing a wire-free, simple VR experience powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 processor (confirmed during CES 2018). You won’t be able to walk around like with the HTC Vive, but should provide a decent tracking system with a suite of built-in sensors.
Oculus VR chief Hugo Barra has revealed that the Go features a fast-switch LCD display with an impressive 2560x1440 resolution which should remove some of the lag as you move, and should also negate the ‘screen door effect’ present by many VR headsets on the market at the moment.
In fact, the lenses used in the Oculus Go are better than those bundled with the Oculus Rift and are said to provide “significantly reduced glare”.
The audio experience has had an upgrade too. Spatial audio is built directly into the headset with the hopes of providing an immersive experience as you move around without the need for separate headphones. These speakers play out loud though, so if you want some privacy, you can still plug in your own headphones via the 3.5mm headphone jack.
There’s much that is yet to be revealed, so for all the latest Oculus Go release date, pricing and feature news, head back to Tech Advisor soon.