Facebook held its fourth annual Oculus Connect event in San Jose, showcasing a new mobile headset, teasing its next evolution of Oculus Rift and unveiling new updates to Oculus Home and more. That's the Oculus Go headset.
Zuckerberg said that the new headset fits in the "sweet spot" between the Rift and other portable, smartphone-powered VR headsets.
But is Oculus Go the affordable answer virtual reality has been waiting for? Also, this isn't simply just a vessel for your smartphones like Samsung's Gear VR or Zeiss VR One Plus; this is a unit that can work on its own.
But VR so far has been embraced mostly by video game lovers, despite Facebook's efforts to bring the technology into the mainstream since buying Oculus for $2 billion three years ago.
The Oculus Go headset is created to be comfier than a smartphone holder for virtual reality. Recent discounts lowered the Rift's price to $399 at various times during the summer, a markdown Oculus now says will be permanent. It's also promising that its new lenses offer "a wide field of view with significantly reduced glare". The display is a fast-switch LCD screen with a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels, and it comes with integrated headphones.
This all should equal sharper visuals on Go, but of what, exactly?
Oculus has shared minimal hardware details about the Oculus Go at this point.
Importantly, the Oculus Go uses the same controller input set as the Gear VR and Oculus Go.
Even the Gear VR and Oculus Go controllers closely resemble each other. All we know right now is that Oculus Go can play what's in the Samsung Gear VR library, and this pales in comparison in both size and breath to what's available for Rift.
But, without having tried Go as it isn't on display at Connect, the new headset does have the feeling of a stopgap measure, and a late one at that. The headset, which is due to arrive in early 2018, will be cross-compatible with titles designed for Samsung's VR platform and will ship to developers next month.
Earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg caught some flak for leading us on a virtual reality (VR) tour of the destruction Maria wrought on Puerto Rico.