In Review

Oculus Go: a cheaper entry into the world of VR headsets

The new Oculus Go VR headset promises to bring virtual reality to the masses.

Oculus Go marks, in many ways, “the dawn of a new era in virtual reality”, say Michelle Fitzsimmons and Gerald Lynch on Tech Radar. This is “VR for the casual gamer, the relaxed consumer of media, the person without the time, money or interest in setting up a PC to power a higher-end headset”.

But despite its budget price (£199 for 32GB on-board storage, £249 for 64GB), the Oculus Go delivers impressive results, says Matt Kamen on Wired.co.uk. It has a single 5.5 inch, 2,560x1,440 LCD panel with a pixel density of 538ppi. From the home screen, which puts you in one of multiple 360-degree vistas, to the various games and apps optimised for the Go, the quality of the visuals is “startling”, says Kamen. But it’s the Go’s integrated physical features and nifty design tricks that “really make it stand out”. Built-in speakers push audio down the head straps, while the embedded mic allows for chat and conferencing features, making the VR experience a “near-premium” one.

The Go offers “what VR insiders call three degrees of freedom”, says Janko Roettgers in Variety. The action will happen all around you, but you can’t truly lean in, or walk within a game, as you could with higher-end VR devices like the Oculus Rift or PlayStation VR. Similarly, you can point the controller at objects, and swipe through menus with a built-in trackpad, but you won’t be able to reach out, or bring your virtual hand up to your face. The battery lasts for just two and a half hours, and you can’t use it while charging.

But for the price, the Oculus Go is “almost a no brainer”, says Roettgers. Once high-end, all-in-one devices become available to consumers, virtual reality will “truly unleash its potential”. Until then, the Go is “a great entry-level VR device”.

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