Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Facebook announces Oculus Go: its new virtual reality system

Facebook announces Oculus Go: its new virtual reality system

Oculus has announced a new headset designed for entry-level VR users at the Oculus Connect 4 conference, called the Oculus Go. Unlike many other VR headsets, the Oculus Go is portable, as it is equipped with built-in speakers. The Oculus Go will have a smaller controller similar to that of Gear VR, while the lenses will offer the same wide field-of-view as Rift. When the device is paired with some Samsung phones, it functions identical to Oculus Go. The last VR system wasn't a hit, and its sales reflected it. Analysts say that this might be the Facebook's last chance to launch a VR if the public doesn't appreciate it. It is expected to ship early next year and carries a $199.99 price tag in North America. Two positionally-tracked tracked controllers for the headset were shown off on Wednesday, with Facebook also announcing that it'll be available to developers next year.

With a goal of having a seventh of the world's population using VR, many consider that Zuckerberg is being a bit too ambitious, especially if he wants to achieve this number in the coming decades.

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Facebook also said that the device would include spatial audio instead of headphones. Oculus hasn't helped in dispelling this sentiment because the company hasn't released official figures about the sale of its flagship Rift. What people mostly didn't like was that the $129 Gear VR had to be used along with a high-end Samsung smartphone.

Zuckerberg, further speaking at a conference stated that the new VR headset does not require a separate PC to operate and that it would now allow more mobility as well as deliver high-quality experience than the company's existing Oculus Rift product. Well, what that means is that you don't have to put a smartphone inside it to experience virtual reality.

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The latter is something Facebook and Oculus have already been looking to fix, with Oculus Avatars having been introduced as a way of creating virtual versions of ourselves in VR and then using them to interact with friends and family.

Microsoft's mixed-reality line-up is more-so a low-end desktop VR/AR solution, but the Oculus Go seems to be targeting the crowd who enjoys VR apps on mobile devices.

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