Facebook has officially launched the Oculus Go, a standalone virtual reality headset that may have what it takes to bring VR further into the mainstream.
Virtual reality technology is slowly entering the mainstream, not just for video games but for various education and entertainment applications. Facebook, however, is hoping that the Oculus Go will accelerate VR's development and acceptance.
Oculus Go Now Available For $199
The Oculus Go was unveiled in October 2017, confirming rumors that Facebook-owned Oculus was working on a standalone VR headset that does not need to be connected to a PC or smartphone. According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the Oculus Go will be positioned in the "sweet spot" between the Oculus Rift, which is required to be powered by high-end PCs that cost about $1,000, and smartphone-connected VR headsets such as the Samsung Gear VR.
At the annual F8 developer conference, Facebook announced that the Oculus Go is now available through the company's official website or various major retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy.
Will The Oculus Go Push VR Into Mainstream?
Early Oculus Go reviews reveal negative points such as limited motion tracking, especially compared to the HTC Vive with its base stations, an underdeveloped app ecosystem, and a maximum three-hour battery life. However, the VR headset comes with many more positive points that offset these shortcomings
One of the major selling points of the Oculus Go is how easy it is to use. Without the need to purchase a high-end PC or smartphone as well as no wires to connect, users will simply have to power on the headset to dive into virtual reality. Users will download apps directly to the Oculus Go, which comes with 32 GB or 64 GB storage.
There is no need to connect a PC or insert a smartphone to the Oculus Go, but users will need to first download the Oculus app before entering virtual reality. The setup is quick and easy, though, with the app also offering tips on how to get the best out of the Oculus Go.
"If you understand the limitations going in and want to take a step into VR anyway, the Oculus Go is probably the best portable system with which to do it," wrote Polygon's Ben Kuchera.
Zuckerberg previously said that he wanted to get 1 billion people using virtual reality technology. The Oculus Go certainly has the potential to fulfill that vision or at least to further push VR into the mainstream to get more users and content producers interested in it.