Facebook and Oculus announced that the Oculus Go will be a smaller form-factor virtual reality headset that will come with a position-tracked motion controller and a basic operational visor for $199.99. The new portable VR set is gearing up to launch in early 2018.
The headset features 3DOF, granting users three-dimensions of freedom, moving in and out of space, along with lateral and vertical tracking. The Oculus Go is also compatible with software designed for Samsung’s spin-off headset from Oculus, the Gear VR. Anything that works with the Gear VR is designed to be compatible with the Oculus Go, it also features built-in support through the Oculus mobile SDK for Unreal and Unity game engines.
The orientation-tracked controller isn’t discussed much in the developer post announcing the new device, but it sounds like it won’t be coming with the Oculus Touch controllers, which is a real shame.
They mention some of the overview of the specs but not the specs themselves. For instance, they talk about the ergonomic design, and lightweight feel, and comfortable fabric, but they don’t give any dimensions or the amount of kilograms it weighs. They also mention that the visual clarity is improved over other mobile-based VR headsets and that they’ve managed to reduce the screen door effect, but they don’t give the individual ocular resolutions nor do they the maximum hertz for frame-buffering.
They do mention that the Oculus Go will come with built-in speakers, and that you won’t need a separate pair of headphones in order to indulge in the audiophile aspects of VR.
However, given the description and the price, it sounds more like a high-end mobile VR headset rather than a low-end desktop VR headset.
Microsoft’s mixed-reality line-up is more-so a low-end desktop VR/AR solution, but the Oculus Go seems to be targeting the crowd who enjoys VR apps on mobile devices.
They haven’t rolled out any news about the breadth of software one can expect from the device, but I can only imagine that with the constant comparisons to the Gear VR that you likely won’t be seeing any noteworthy VR titles from the Oculus Store or Steam VR’s catalog make an appearance on the $199 device. Then again, we’ll have to wait to see what Facebook and Oculus come up with leading up to the Oculus Go’s release in early 2018.