Today at F8, Facebook officially launched its standalone VR headset, Oculus Go. Since the announcement less than two hours ago, scores of news and reviews have been posted with praise, specs and complaints. AND, everyone at F8 will be getting an Oculus Go for free–so we know these news stories are only the beginning.
To make it easy to catch up on what the new headset has to offer, here’s list of everything we know about the Oculus Go at this point.
Big picture facts
- It’s a standalone VR headset, meaning it does not require a smartphone or computer to use.
- Everyone at F8 received a free Oculus Go headset.
- The headset is part of Facebook’s plan to get 1 billion people into VR–announced at F8 last year.
- The 32GB version costs $199 and the 64GB version, $249.
- It’s available for purchase on Oculus’ website in 23 countries.
- Customers in the U.S. can also buy it on Amazon and Best Buy.
Oculus Go specs & stats
- Similar to Gear VR, Oculus Go only offers three degrees of freedom, compared to its upcoming (but more expensive) competitors like Google & Lenovo’s Mirage Solo or HTC’s Vive Focus. That means it can only track your head movements; you can’t move around the room like you can in, say, an Oculus Rift or and HTC Vive.
- It features a 5.5″ 2560 x 1440 fast-switching LCD screen (538ppi). This type of LCD screen helps fill in the spaces between pixels to reduce screen door effect (being able to see individual pixels). Some say the display looks better than Gear VR as well as Rift!
- A updated kind of Fresnel lenses (compared to the Rift) that reduce God rays in high contrast scenes
- Snapdragon 821 processor
- 60Hz or 72Hz refresh rate, depending on the app and experience
- The headset comes with a wireless controller, lanyard, power adapter, USB cable, battery, glasses spacer and lens cloth.
- The wireless motion controller has a trackpad on top (which doubles as a button), a back button, a home button and a trigger under your index finger.
- There are speakers built into the headset, but if you want privacy in what you’re hearing, there’s also a 3.5 mm headphone jack. “Speakers embedded in the headset direct sound toward your ear. It’s audible, if not clearly so, to people nearby, and it’s not as immersive as the Rift’s fold-down headphones, but it works better than you’d think—and certainly removes one of the most annoying parts about taking off a headset for someone else to try,” reports Wired’s Peter Rubin.
Using the Oculus Go
- To start using the Go, you have to pair it with your iOS or Android device (via companion app) to connect the headset to WiFi. You can also use the companion app to manage your headset’s software library. You can also do this in the headset.
- Some have said the Go runs faster than mobile VR headsets (guessing that this has to do with the Go processing only running VR–no background tasks!).
- And, it’s fast to hop into and out of experiences. “The Oculus Go is lightning fast at firing up. Hold the power button down to turn on the headset and you’re ready to go,” reports VR Scout’s Jonathan Nafarrete. “You feel like you can just grab the Oculus Go and check something out quickly, almost like turning on the TV just to see if there’s anything to watch at that moment.”
- Some say that Oculus Go is “the most convenient and comfortable VR headset ever made.”
- The headset comes with a spacer you can insert behind the headset’s facial foam to make room for your glasses between the lens and your eyes. Or, there are detachable brackets that can hold prescription lenses. Facebook hasn’t announced its partners to supply said lenses, but added that the list would soon be available here.
- It’s lighter than the Gear VR w/ phone installed, coming in at just over a pound.
- The faceplate is foam covered in a knit mesh to help wick away sweat.
- The three headstraps (side, side, top) are spandex secured with Velcro to easily adjust to every head.
- The headset’s battery lasts 1.5-2 hours while gaming and 2-2.5 hours while watching video.
- Oculus does not recommend charging the headset while using it. (The charging port is located awkwardly on the side of the headset)
- The included motion controller runs on one AA battery.
- It takes approximately 3 hours to fully recharge the headset.
Content for the Oculus Go
- Oculus Go is launching with more than 1000 apps, experiences, games and movies, with somewhere between 20 and 100 (reports vary…) completely new (or significantly updated) titles. Here’s Oculus’ official list.
- Oculus Rooms: Invite your friends over to your customizable studio loft to watch movies, look at photos, listen to music and play games.
- Customize your space: choose the floor and wall material, time of day, photos on the walls, etc.
- Hang with your friends ever-improving ‘life-like’ avatars.
- Watch owned and rented movies from hundreds of titles available in the Oculus Store.
- Play some music!
- Head over to the game table in the room to play virtual versions of real-world games. In a partnership with Hasbro, this will soon include favorites like Boggle, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit.
- Launch 360 videos (as seen in the video from UploadVR below), which appear as an orb that you can preview and then simply click on it to jump into the full 360 experience.
- Bigscreen: To watch videos from your Go’s internal storage or your network’s media server, you have to use Bigscreen. This app allows you and your friends to stream content from your desktops onto virtual screens.
- Oculus TV: Later this May, the Oculus TV app launches. The app offers up a 3D environment with a massive screen where you (and your friends, should they also have Oculus Go headsets) can watch a var is a dedicated VR portal for a variety of TV entertainment, including Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, ESPN, Pluto, Red Bull, the Facebook Video app for TV and more.
- Oculus Venues: This app–in partnership with Next VR–allows you to watch live concerts, comedy, sports and other events around the world with friends (or, anyone else in VR), including performances from artists like Vance Joy and emerging musicians, standup comedy from Gotham Comedy Club and Major League Baseball games.
- Go users can also take photos, record videos, and livestream your VR experience to share them with people outside of VR. However, you can currently only share to Facebook.
That’s all we know for the time being! If you’ve seen updates and news we haven’t, share about it in the comments below.
You can also tune in to watch F8 here.