First look: Oculus Go, Facebook's standalone, iPhone-compatible VR headset

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in iPhone
Facebook on Tuesday issued a surprise by announcing the immediate launch of its new Oculus Go standalone VR headset, which also boasts iPhone connectivity. AppleInsider got its hands on one of the first units, and offers a closer look.




Priced at $199 for 32 gigabytes of onboard storage, or $249 for 64 gigabytes, the Oculus Go is now available at Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, or direct from Google.

Unlike smartphone-based VR platforms, including the low-budget iPhone-compatible Google Cardboard, the Oculus Go has its own displays for each eye, allowing for an immersive wireless VR experience at an affordable price, without the need for an expensive smartphone.

In the box, Oculus Go comes with the headset and adjustable straps, and a wireless motion controller with touchpad (powered by a single AA battery). The headset itself charges through an included micro USB cable, and it even has its own built-in speakers so it can be used without headphones (though headphones can, optionally, be plugged in through an integrated 3.5-millimeter jack).



In order to get started, users must connect the Oculus Go to a smartphone, including Apple's iPhone. This is accomplished by downloading Facebook's official Oculus app, which quickly finds, pairs and sets up the headset.

Initial setup includes installing updates for the Oculus Go, but the process is simple and straightforward. While you wait, users can browse apps available for the headset, and purchase them to install once it is up and running.




Many of the apps and games for Oculus Go are paid purchase, not available for free. There are, however, some free options, including a non-interactive "Jurassic World" VR experience, and apps from Netflix and The New York Times.

The headset itself is light and comfortable, with a cloth material pressed against the face that seems like it would be acceptable for interim periods of wear.




Between the lenses in the headset is a sensor that knows when a user takes the headset off. This allows the device to automatically shut down and turn off its screen, saving battery life and pausing whatever the user is doing.

The interface itself is intuitive and rather Nintendo Wii-like, featuring motion control input, with a combination of gestures, touchpad use, and head movement.

Oculus Go is certainly a step up from the likes of Google Cardboard, but nowhere near the quality -- nor horsepower -- of a full Oculus Rift headset, or even PlayStation VR. But at $199, it's a good entry-level VR experience that should be enough to whet the appetite of VR enthusiasts without breaking the bank.


Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,412member
    ...

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 15
    schlackschlack Posts: 676member
    I was excited until I got to the part where they said it’s not nearly as good as the PlayStation VR headset. The PlayStation VR headset itself is mediocre and not enjoyable for more than short periods. Was hoping this would be better. 
    Nameo_1983
  • Reply 3 of 15
    boxcatcherboxcatcher Posts: 129member
    Zuckbot had such a rager for VR a few years ago, but here we are ... totally underwhelmed.
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 15
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,099member
    schlack said:
    I was excited until I got to the part where they said it’s not nearly as good as the PlayStation VR headset. The PlayStation VR headset itself is mediocre and not enjoyable for more than short periods. Was hoping this would be better. 
    Says you. I can use mine for hours, and love it.
    1983
  • Reply 5 of 15
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,099member

    Zuckbot had such a rager for VR a few years ago, but here we are ... totally underwhelmed.
    Uh, you know Oculus has had Rift for quite a while now; this is an entry-level step up from Cardboard for beginners.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,339member
    schlack said:
    I was excited until I got to the part where they said it’s not nearly as good as the PlayStation VR headset. The PlayStation VR headset itself is mediocre and not enjoyable for more than short periods. Was hoping this would be better. 
    Same here. I read the reviews, bought one and sent it back 3 days later.
    The image quality was pretty poor, screen door effect was terrible, the edges were blurry as hell and you had to buy a separate part just to even set it up.
    watto_cobramatrix077
  • Reply 7 of 15
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,048member
    The price is pretty good for punters who want to experiment with it, so I expect this will do well for the Christmas season this year, particularly if there are any software/firmware upgrades between now and then.
    likethesky
  • Reply 8 of 15
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,069member
    schlack said:
    I was excited until I got to the part where they said it’s not nearly as good as the PlayStation VR headset. The PlayStation VR headset itself is mediocre and not enjoyable for more than short periods. Was hoping this would be better. 
    Says you. I can use mine for hours, and love it.

    Are you talking about the PlayStation VR?
  • Reply 9 of 15
    irelandireland Posts: 17,491member
    Facebook go home.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    alandailalandail Posts: 678member
    The best VR games require precise tracking and 6DOF in the headset as well as in controllers in both hands.  At least one game, Sparc, is a new 2 player sport. There are also other sports that can be played on there that feel just like playing the same sport in real life (tennis, boxing, ping pong, soccer goalie), but this one is a new two player VR sport. I can't think of a single VR game I play that would still be playable, much less fun, with 3DOF instead of 6.

    It's a shame that people's views on what's possible in VR are going to be limited by these inexpensive devices that cut corners in the most important area, 6DOF.  it's way more important even than screen resolution.  I moved up from Vive to View Pro, and while the increased resolution is nice, it doesn't really impact the playability of the games.

    I tried out all 3 PC solutions, Rift, Vive, WMR.  WMR doesn't have precise handset tracking, your handsets have to be visible to your headset or tracking gets lost.  Rift is much better, but not perfect until you buy the 3rd base station because it loses tracking if you face away from the 2 base stations.  Vive gets it right out of the box with just two base stations.

    PSVR, which my son has, works about as well as the Rift without the 3rd base station.

    Outside of VR, I don't play games and haven't for years and years.  With 6DOF from headset and both hands, I play every day.  And get a workout that closes my rings on my apple watch and have a great time doing it. Enough that I've lost about 15 lbs in the couple of months since I started playing VR.

    Sure, the 6DOF doesn't matter so much if you're just going to use it to watch a movie or TV show on a virtual movie screen. But the whole point of VR is to have worlds you can interact with the same natural way you interact in the real world. 3DOF doesn't allow that at all.
    edited May 2018 liketheskyfastasleep
  • Reply 11 of 15
    19831983 Posts: 1,133member
    alandail said:
    The best VR games require precise tracking and 6DOF in the headset as well as in controllers in both hands.  At least one game, Sparc, is a new 2 player sport. There are also other sports that can be played on there that feel just like playing the same sport in real life (tennis, boxing, ping pong, soccer goalie), but this one is a new two player VR sport. I can't think of a single VR game I play that would still be playable, much less fun, with 3DOF instead of 6.

    It's a shame that people's views on what's possible in VR are going to be limited by these inexpensive devices that cut corners in the most important area, 6DOF.  it's way more important even than screen resolution.  I moved up from Vive to View Pro, and while the increased resolution is nice, it doesn't really impact the playability of the games.

    I tried out all 3 PC solutions, Rift, Vive, WMR.  WMR doesn't have precise handset tracking, your handsets have to be visible to your headset or tracking gets lost.  Rift is much better, but not perfect until you buy the 3rd base station because it loses tracking if you face away from the 2 base stations.  Vive gets it right out of the box with just two base stations.

    PSVR, which my son has, works about as well as the Rift without the 3rd base station.

    Outside of VR, I don't play games and haven't for years and years.  With 6DOF from headset and both hands, I play every day.  And get a workout that closes my rings on my apple watch and have a great time doing it. Enough that I've lost about 15 lbs in the couple of months since I started playing VR.

    Sure, the 6DOF doesn't matter so much if you're just going to use it to watch a movie or TV show on a virtual movie screen. But the whole point of VR is to have worlds you can interact with the same natural way you interact in the real world. 3DOF doesn't allow that at all.
    I’m not into VR so what is 6DOF?
  • Reply 12 of 15
    alandailalandail Posts: 678member
    1983 said:
    alandail said:
    The best VR games require precise tracking and 6DOF in the headset as well as in controllers in both hands.  At least one game, Sparc, is a new 2 player sport. There are also other sports that can be played on there that feel just like playing the same sport in real life (tennis, boxing, ping pong, soccer goalie), but this one is a new two player VR sport. I can't think of a single VR game I play that would still be playable, much less fun, with 3DOF instead of 6.

    It's a shame that people's views on what's possible in VR are going to be limited by these inexpensive devices that cut corners in the most important area, 6DOF.  it's way more important even than screen resolution.  I moved up from Vive to View Pro, and while the increased resolution is nice, it doesn't really impact the playability of the games.

    I tried out all 3 PC solutions, Rift, Vive, WMR.  WMR doesn't have precise handset tracking, your handsets have to be visible to your headset or tracking gets lost.  Rift is much better, but not perfect until you buy the 3rd base station because it loses tracking if you face away from the 2 base stations.  Vive gets it right out of the box with just two base stations.

    PSVR, which my son has, works about as well as the Rift without the 3rd base station.

    Outside of VR, I don't play games and haven't for years and years.  With 6DOF from headset and both hands, I play every day.  And get a workout that closes my rings on my apple watch and have a great time doing it. Enough that I've lost about 15 lbs in the couple of months since I started playing VR.

    Sure, the 6DOF doesn't matter so much if you're just going to use it to watch a movie or TV show on a virtual movie screen. But the whole point of VR is to have worlds you can interact with the same natural way you interact in the real world. 3DOF doesn't allow that at all.
    I’m not into VR so what is 6DOF?
    For the headset:
    3DOF lets you look side to side, look up and down, and turn around and the display will respond. you remain at a fixed location, but just looking in different directions from that fixed spot.
    6DOF lets you do all of that, plus move around in space and the display will show your movement in space.

    For the controllers
    3DOF lets you do a similar thing, rotate the controller around in a fixed spot
    6DOF lets the controllers follow your hands.  You see them in the 3D space exactly where your hands are.  With perfect tracking, this includes having them properly located even if they aren't in your field of vision.  

    There is nothing more natural than simply moving your hands wherever you want and controlling a game that way.  

    With 6DOF, boxing works just like real boxing. You can duck, block, punch, etc.
    In shooting games (for example paintball), you aim and shoot just like you would playing real paintball
    Racket games you swing your racket just like you would in real life
    A game Space Pirate trainer, you have a gun in one hand, a shield in the other, you can be shooting in one direction and have your other arm behind you to block shots coming from the other direction.

    None of this will work with Oculus Go.

    fastasleep
  • Reply 13 of 15
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,584member
    And what data will Facebook be collecting? Fk Facebook.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 15
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,099member
    schlack said:
    I was excited until I got to the part where they said it’s not nearly as good as the PlayStation VR headset. The PlayStation VR headset itself is mediocre and not enjoyable for more than short periods. Was hoping this would be better. 
    Says you. I can use mine for hours, and love it.

    Are you talking about the PlayStation VR?
    Yes.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,099member

    alandail said:

    It's a shame that people's views on what's possible in VR are going to be limited by these inexpensive devices that cut corners in the most important area, 6DOF.  it's way more important even than screen resolution.  I moved up from Vive to View Pro, and while the increased resolution is nice, it doesn't really impact the playability of the games.
    True, but this is a gateway drug for the real deal. I messed with Cardboard on my iPhone for a while before finding a good enough game/demo that really gave me a sense of immersion, where it clicked and I was like "oh, okay — i get it now" knowing that it was nothing compared to a full-featured headset. PSVR got me with the Batman Arkham VR game when I saw my own two hands in front of me, put on the Batman cowl and saw my head tilting/moving in the mirror along with my hands, and then I was completely sold. Next level was realizing I could peer around corners, lean over and look down into things, crouch down and see the underside of a desk, stuff like that. 
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