Oculus has launched a new wire-free, standalone virtual reality headset in the form of the Oculus Go. This device was originally announced during the company's Connect 4 conference and is designed to sit between mobile VR, such as a Samsung Gear VR, and high-end headsets that require a PC, such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Here then is everything we know about this VR device.
What is Oculus Go?
Oculus Go is an all-in-one headset based on a mobile platform, rather than offer the full PC experience of the Oculus Rift. Here is what we know about the headset and the tech.
Hardware and specifications
- 190mm x 105mm x 115mm weighing 467g
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Mobile VR Platform
- Built-in Lithium-Ion battery capable of two hours gaming or two and a half hours of video playback
- Three hours charging time via USB Micro-B port
- 32GB/64GB storage
During Connect 4, Oculus executive Hugo Barra described the headset as a way to enable VR for everyday use. There's no phone or PC required, and it's much more affordable when compared to existing VR headsets on the market. Keep in mind that, at the same event, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg said that he has a goal to get one billion people using VR, as he and the team at Oculus believe it's the future.
The Oculus Go is a VR headset that's intended to make VR more accessible to the masses. As such, it's not only more affordable, but it's also been built specifically to function as a standalone device. This VR headset doesn't require a compatible phone to run (like the Samsung Gear VR) or computer to plug into but instead uses hardware built right into the device to power the experience.
This is an Android-powered device that uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Mobile VR Platform to deliver wire-free VR. The device needs a smartphone (Android or Apple iPhone) in order to setup initially but will run on its own afterwards.
A built-in Lithium-Ion battery provides the power and Oculus say on a full charge this should provide enough juice for two hours gaming or two and a half hours of video playback. Charging is done via Micro-USB but Oculus recommend not charging the headset while playing.
LCD display, integrated audio, and positional tracking
- 5.5-inch display with 538ppi and 2560 x 1440 WQHD resolution
- Fast-switch LCD screen capable of 60Hz or 72Hz refresh rate (app dependent)
- Upgraded lenses improved over Oculus Rift
- Integrated spatial audio speakers and microphone
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Three degrees of freedom head tracking
The focus of the Oculus Go's design is on comfort and an easy gaming experience. As such, the headset is built with Knit Mesh, Nylon Micro Yarn, Spandex materials - all breathable fabrics intended to make the headset comfortable to wear for long periods. The company has designed the headset to be as light as possible with a comfortable fit and weight distribution via an ergonomic face mask and multiple headstrap fitment.
This VR headset sports a 5.5-inch fast-switch LCD screen capable of 2560 x 1440 WQHD resolution displaying 538ppi with a 60Hz or 72Hz refresh rate dependent on the content you're playing. It also uses upgraded lenses which Oculus say are the best yet and are even improved over the lenses in the Oculus Rift.
The Oculus Go also has integrated speakers that deliver spatial audio through the arms of the head strap without the need for headphones. The volume of these speakers is easily adjustable via a volume dial on the top of the headset or you can plug your own headphones in via the 3.5mm jack for a more private VR experience.
A built-in microphone is also included to allow you to communicate with other Oculus Go users or players when involved multi-user experiences such as Oculus Rooms.
Unlike the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the Oculus Go does not require external tracking devices but uses integrated movement tracking that allows for three degrees of freedom head tracking. This means it won't track full range of movement but is capable of tracking the rotation of your head and movement of the accompanying remote control. The difference here is you cannot walk around in the VR environment like you can with other VR headsets but you can still look around and explore using the controller.
Controller and apps
- 111mm x 37mm x 57mm controller weighing 65g
- AA battery powered with battery included in the box
- Safety lanyard
- Over 1,000 compatible apps and VR experiences on launch, including 100 specifically built for Oculus Go
The Oculus Go comes with a small, lightweight and comfortable controller. This is an AA battery powered controller that's easy-to-use and is designed to fit nicely in the palm, even for larger handed people. This controller has a swipe and click trackpad, a trigger button and back and home buttons that are all easily accessible. It also comes with a safety lanyard to stop it flying out of your hand in the middle of a gaming session.
This VR headset is designed to be compatible with all current Samsung Gear VR games and experiences meaning users can access over 1,000 current apps on purchase of the headset. There are also over 100 brand new or significantly updated titles designed specifically for the Oculus Go and available on launch.
Apps and VR experiences can be purchased and downloaded straight to the headset via Wi-Fi or initiated remotely via your smartphone using the Oculus App (available on Android and iOS).
The Oculus Go can be used in a number of different ways. As well as playing a variety of different VR games, the headset can be used as a personal theatre for viewing movies, TV shows and more.
Oculus has created an Oculus TV app that combines all your favourite TV apps in one place. This is mostly optimised for the US at the moment and will work with CBS, Red Bull TV, Facebook video but more support is coming in future. The device also supports Netflix, Showtime, Hulu giving you plenty of choice for watching your favourite content. Since it's a virtual reality headset, the Oculus Go supports 3D content too - so you can use it to watch 3D films that can be purchased through the interface.
The Oculus Go can also be used to meet up with friends in a virtual environment using Oculus Rooms where you can watch TV on a big screen, share photos and videos or play board games while catching up. 360 content, Google photospheres and panoramic images can also be viewed from the gallery - so you can easily show off your personal photos and images directly from your device or from Facebook to friends and family.
Oculus is also promising access to live VR broadcasts including (in future) the ability to watch live concerts, sports broadcasts, comedy events and more all from around the world while in the comfort of your living room.
Lens upgrades and face mask options
- Glasses spacer included
- Optional prescription lens upgrade
- Swappable face masks
Oculus Go is built for glasses wearers as well and includes a spacer in the box that can be easily fit into the headset to allow extra room for your spectacles. The improved lenses also offer some scratch resistance to help them withstand wear and tear.
Oculus is offering an optional prescription lens upgrade available to purchase from Oculus.com as well as a number of additional face mask choices to allow you to customise the fit of the headset to your preference.