Review: Facebook’s new Oculus Go headset is something that virtual reality should always be the same


Good: affordable price, simple setting, no need for smart phones or computers, good image quality

Bad: compared with other wireless earphones such as lenovo Solo Mirage, the experience is limited and wearing them for a long time is not comfortable

For: the price and ease of use of Oculus Go make it the best universal VR headset, especially for those who are interested in entertainment and don’t like hard core games.

Two years ago, virtual reality had a banner. The Kickstarter Oculus Rift finally launched in March after Facebook bought its parent company for $2 billion in 2014. Not to be outdone, HTC soon released its own high-end vr headset, the HTC Vive, in April. This is a coming moment for virtual reality, a milestone in the tech industry’s positioning to transform virtual reality from a fantastical pipe dream of science fiction into a digital revolution.

But the technology is fairly rudimentary. Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headphones have impressive performance, highly precise motion control and envelope graph, but through the cable connection is needed to use powerful desktop computer (expensive). The headphones were also expensive to launch, though both Facebook and HTC reduced those costs. Then there’s the next wave of VR: wireless smartphone-powered viewers, offering a cheaper, more convenient experience. But to use the best available models, such as Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream View, you need to install a compatible Android smartphone.

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Now, Facebook is trying to solve these and other problems with Oculus Go, which will Go on sale on May 1 for $199. Go is part of a new wave of wireless all-around virtual reality devices that don’t require the power of any stand-alone device, be it a desktop PC or a smartphone. Lenovo announced its own wireless independent VR headset, called Solo Mirage, during the CES conference in January. But the headset costs $399.99, double the price of Oculus Go, which is not as important as Facebook. The lenovo Solo Mirage supports six degrees of freedom, a term used to describe VR types that can physically move in virtual space. By contrast, Oculus Go USES a directional system, which means you can rotate your head and hands in VR, but not move around in virtual space.

But that doesn’t mean Oculus Go can’t convince your body you’re elsewhere. Like Gear VR, Oculus Go can still trick you into thinking you’re standing on top of a mountain, soaring in the air, or shooting aliens in outer space. The digital experience of Go still revolves around the 360-degree virtual world, which is filled with applications that often conjure visions of depth perception and camera movement. The inner components of Oculus Go are similar to the technologies you find in smartphones, apart from considering some of the optimizations added specifically to VR. While Go may not have the processing power of the desktop computer Rift, Facebook’s latest headphones are fully capable of running casual games and entertainment applications.

So Facebook is positioning Oculus Go as an entertainment and social device. Facebook believes some of the most popular use cases of Go will be used to watch Netflix on a screen the size of a movie theater, or to play virtual board games with friends. That’s why it focused on the viewing experience when developing Go, which has a fast-switching LCD panel, unlike the Rift. The technology should allow the screen to switch colors more quickly than a standard LCD to make the overall image clearer and reduce blur and motion sickness.

The ease of use of Oculus Go is by far the most useful attribute. After setting up the headset, I need to follow the instructions through the application. All the required operations are simply to tie the headset to the headset and press the power button. And nothing more. You don’t need to connect your headphones to your computer, plug them into your smartphone, or clean up space in your living room. This is the simplest and most convenient virtual reality experience I’ve ever used.

What impressed me most was that one of the features of Oculus Go was how clear and bright its screen looked. I use a lot of VR headsets in the past, including the price higher Oculus Rift or $99 Google Daydream View, if I move the head or other areas of the quick scan scene, occasionally displays appear blurred.


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