Standalone VR Headset ‘Oculus Go’ Now Available To Purchase At $199

Facebook is hosting its F8 Developer Conference, where the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared some new topics about Instagram’s new video calling and a redesigned Explore page features, which are set to be coming in the next few weeks. Alongside it, Facebook also announced that its Messenger is the queue as well. Also announced the launch of the Oculus Go, the latest virtual reality headset from Oculus, owned by Facebook Inc.

Priced at $199, the Oculus Go will be Oculus’ first standalone VR headset, which Facebook’s CEO said represents the “first really affordable standalone virtual reality headset.”

Buyers of it will get more than 1,000 apps with its shipping, it features the “highest quality lenses and optics” that Oculus has ever built into a VR gadget. Given its affordable price point, CEO says that it’ll be the “easiest way to get into VR,” and that the company expects this is how many people will experience the virtual reality for the first time.

Design-wise, the Oculus Go looks very similar to the Oculus Rift. It’s a VR headset that fits over the eyes and attaches to the head complete with adjustable straps and breathable fabrics. As it is offered as a standalone device, which by means, it does not require a connection to a computer or a gaming system to operate.

Features wise, the Oculus Go sports a 5.5-inch display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution (1280 x 1140 per eye) and it runs using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor.

Otherwise, there are spatial audio drivers built into the handset in order to provide immersive sound clarity, but nevertheless, it also includes a 3.5mm headphone jack to allow users to connect headphones if desired. The included controller translates natural movements into VR using a touch surface and a trigger button.

In a review, The Verge said that while the Oculus Go is not the “flashiest or most high-tech” headset on the market, but it’s the “best that simple mobile VR has ever been.”

What’s not contained in the Oculus Go is that it does not feature a full motion controller or inside-outside tracking to allow users to walk around rooms sans external cameras, but it can be linked to the Samsung Gear VR, after all, as a dedicated piece of hardware. Looking carefully through the Oculus Go “isn’t that different” than using a Gear VR, and that the app library is similar, too.

The Oculus Go makes improvements to the Gear VR, but its biggest achievement is just making mobile VR content easier to access. It’s a reasonably priced device that doesn’t require having a specific phone, doesn’t force you to clumsily lock that phone into another piece of hardware, and doesn’t drain the battery that you might need for more important tasks. And as long as VR is still a labor of love, anything that reduces the “labor” factor is great news.

It is also said that Facebook is working on a new feature that would allow customers to recreate their childhood homes using computer vision and referencing old photographs. In other virtual reality news, Facebook plans to work on mapping out immersive spaces and “creating a real feeling of presence.”

Later this month, Oculus will also launch Oculus TV, allowing Oculus Go users to watch entertainment from services such as Hulu, ESPN, Showtime, and more.

The Oculus Go can be purchased today from the official Oculus website here, or from Amazon for $199 (32GB) of storage. 64GB of storage will cost $249.

Notably, this launch of the Oculus Go comes just days after rumors suggesting Apple is working on its own high-powered virtual and augmented reality headset featuring a 16K resolution display that would be untethered from a smartphone or a traditional computer.

About it, Apple’s device will reportedly include 8K displays and a custom Apple-designed processor that’s more powerful than anything currently available. It’s also predicted that Apple is aiming to launch its AR/VR product in 2020.

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