Oculus Go is an upcoming standalone VR headset and controller that offers the same content library and a similar experience to Gear VR, but in a dedicated unit rather than a ‘headset shell’ accessory for a smartphone. What follows is a brief overview of everything we know about the soon the launch headset.
What is Oculus Go?
Originally announced at Oculus Connect 4 in October 2017, the Oculus Go is a VR headset and controller designed to offer mobile VR experiences in a self-contained, standalone unit. The Go shares many similarities to Samsung’s smartphone-docked Gear VR headset, including a shared VR content library from Oculus, but it promises to be the best way to experience this content, as its design offers several advantages in terms of convenience, comfort, and performance. Its tracking capabilities are the same as Gear VR: limited to rotational movement (3DoF) on both the headset and controller, which makes it less immersive than other standalone VR headsets like the Lenovo Mirage Solo and HTC Vive Focus.
What Are the Oculus Go Specs?
The Go is built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC. On paper, this chip sits somewhere in the middle of the range of Samsung smartphones that support Gear VR, but the Go is said to achieve higher and more sustained performance due to being a dedicated VR device, with superior thermal characteristics that should avoid the common overheating problems of Gear VR devices. In fact, Oculus recently revealed at that developers have the option to push beyond the standard 60Hz to a 72Hz output for the Go, and detailed new automatic performance management tools to keep the headset’s CPU and GPU balanced for maximum performance without overheating.
Oculus Go uses a single 2,560 × 1,440 display, using a “fast-switch LCD” rather than the OLED panels found on Rift and Samsung phones designed for Gear VR. The headset features what Oculus have described as their “next generation” Fresnel lenses, which increase the FOV above Gear VR to something more comparable to the Rift, and are also said to reduce glare. The team also say they worked with Qualcomm to optimise a fixed foveated rendering solution for further performance gains.
It may not look it, but there’s hidden speakers built into the Go’s head strap, and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack can be used if you want more private or higher-quality sound.
The light, 3DoF controller features a single trigger, trackpad, and a back and menu button; the same inputs as the Gear VR controller. The controller’s shape is reminiscent of the core of Oculus Touch, and feels like a more ergonomic fit than Gear VR’s controller.
Like Google’s Daydream View headset, the Go’s facepad and lens backing can be removed for cleaning or replacement.
Weight and battery life estimates are currently unconfirmed.
What’s the Oculus Go Price and Release Date?
According to the official site, the price is “starting at $199” and the release date is “early 2018.” It has been suggested that the launch date could coincide with Facebook’s F8 conference, which begins May 1st. It’s expected that Oculus will release 32GB and 64GB versions of the headset.
In partnership with Xiaomi, Oculus go will also be launched in China under the name Mi VR Standalone, and will feature content from Xiaomi’s own VR app store.