Nearly seven months after it was first announced, you can finally buy Facebook’s Oculus Go. The device is available in 23 countries, starting at $199 for the 32GB model and $259 for the 64GB one. If you need a refresher, Oculus Go is the company’s first standalone VR headset, meaning it doesn’t need to be tethered to a computer (like the Oculus Rift), or strapped onto a phone (like the Gear VR).
The Oculus Go offers an experience similar to the Gear VR: it tracks head rotation, but not full motion, and it uses a remote control with limited pointing abilities. But it works as a standalone product, rather than being powered by a Samsung phone, which makes it accessible to people with other Android phones or iPhones. It supports the Gear VR game and app catalog, launching alongside games like a port of the mobile stealth title Republique,and there’s support for some cross-play experiences, including an adaptation of Settlers of Catan.
Facebook says the Oculus Go should last for about two hours when playing games and two and a half hours when watching video. That seemed accurate based on my testing; after roughly an hour of playing games through the headset, my Oculus Go had 54 percent of its battery left.
My biggest setback isn’t about the Oculus Go itself, but virtual reality at large. When it comes to VR, hardware technology seems to be advancing at a faster rate than the content. Many of the virtual reality apps I tried were certainly fun, entertaining, and impressive, but none of them felt compelling enough to keep my attention for more than about 30 minutes or so. And if Facebook is pitching virtual reality as the next evolution of how people keep in touch online, it won’t be valuable until a significant amount of people have adopted the technology.
Oculus Go Specifications
Facebook says it has the “best optics of any VR system we’ve built,” thanks to new fresnel lenses, and comes with with a 2560×1440 LCD display. It’s powered by an older Snapdragon 821 chip, but it can squeeze more power out of it due to being a standalone VR headset.