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Facebook Launches Oculus Go, a $200 Standalone VR Headset

Accepted submission by takyon at 2018-05-02 22:23:45
Hardware

Facebook/Oculus has launched [theverge.com] the standalone Oculus Go [soylentnews.org], 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 [oculus.com] 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 [theverge.com].

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 [fastcompany.com] that Oculus Go will outsell all other VR headsets this year. The low price of $200 [cnn.com] 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 [arstechnica.com], 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 [techcrunch.com].) Facebook also announced Oculus Venues [techcrunch.com], 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 [tomshardware.com], RoadtoVR [roadtovr.com], USA Today [usatoday.com], and Digital Trends [digitaltrends.com]. MIT Technology Review [technologyreview.com] 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".


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