Facebook/Oculus has launched the standalone Oculus Go, which is an untethered wireless virtual reality headset similar to smartphone-based VR systems such as Samsung's Gear VR, but with its own built-in Snapdragon 821 SoC instead of using a smartphone:
The Oculus Go, a self-contained headset that offers mobile virtual reality without a smartphone, is going on sale today in 23 countries. The headset's $199 base version has 32GB of storage, and a 64GB version will sell for $249. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called it "the easiest way to get into VR," and in our review, we've found that it's certainly easy to use — but it still has major limitations.
The Oculus Go lacks 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF), unlike the upcoming Lenovo Mirage Solo. It also has just about 1-2 hours of useful battery life before needing to be recharged for a couple of hours, and the company discourages you from wearing it while it is recharging. SuperData predicts that Oculus Go will outsell all other VR headsets this year. The low price of $200 and untethered design could bring VR closer to becoming mainstream.
At its F8 conference, Facebook hinted at some features coming to its future VR headsets, including variable depth-of-field using physically adjusted varifocal lenses, an increase from a 110 to a 140-degree field-of-view without increasing the size of the headset, and built-in hand tracking. (Also at TechCrunch.) Facebook also announced Oculus Venues, an app for displaying live sports events, concerts, comedy shows, etc. in VR. These live events will begin on May 30.
Also at Tom's Hardware, RoadtoVR, USA Today, and Digital Trends. MIT Technology Review has an interview with Rachel Franklin, Facebook's head of social VR, who admits "there's not much to do" in Facebook Spaces, the company's "social VR app".
I got my Vive for $420 off e-bay. This thing is being introduced at $199. It's also, stand-alone. Which means just $199+tax. As opposed to $499+tax + $300-$400 video card + computer ($400 or so at least). So you're really comparing a $199 device to a $1,199 device. Yes, the Vive will be better for all sorts of reasons. None of those are economical ones.
Actually, I forgot to mention the biggest downside to the Occulus Go. You must have an android phone or iPhone to activate it. It's all kinds of stupid, but there it is. Most people will have one or the other already, so the price of a smart phone isn't necessarily something you'd need to consider in addition to the Occulus Go.https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/03/oculus-go-world-premiere-acceptable-compromises-amazing-quality-for-199 [arstechnica.com]
Between that and this:
The Mirage's 6DOF is still quite limited—you need to remain seated
I think I'll wait a couple of years.
I'm still puzzling over what this means. Does it mean that it can detect your head motion (not just rotation) using accelerometers but can't distinguish head motion from leg/body motion (which would *likely* require an external tracker)? If so, that's not so bad. Fixing the problem without an external tracker plugged in the room somewhere could be painful... wireless socks?