Oculus have been developing a stand alone VR device for some time and the wraps of which have finally been lifted. The Oculus Go, is a completely self contained VR headset that will retail for an incredible $199. Given that most other stand alone VR headsets will easily be a few hundred dollars more, Oculus could be onto something very big here.
The adoption for VR for the masses, needs to move away from the reliance of hi powered super gaming computers, or the requirement for a high end Samsung S series mobile, or Google pixel phone. Unless you already own one of these, then the VR device is anywhere around $70 to $99. For what is essentially a box with some lenses in. Yet, the adoption of VR needs to move beyond the reliance on box of these aspects and make it a self contained, ready to go device.
The kings of VR high end are HTC with the Vive and of course the Rift from Oculus. HTC have stated they are developing a standalone VR device, but Oculus are the first to be out the gate with official specification and a price that is very appealing and very consumer friendly.
Initial glances at the specification seem to look healthy; WQHD 1,560 x 1,440 LCD lenses which are in fact better than it’s Rift kin, but that is all we know so far aside from the fact that the processing inside the unit will have to be considerable and the device must not require any additional ‘light boxes’. Otherwise we are going to see a device that is going to make little Johnny very, very sick.
It all remains to be seen how this and no time frame has been announced, but we would expect it to appear later 2018, mid 2019. Whatever Oculus manage to do with the Go, by that time the field will be very busy with the likes of HTC Vive and all the other manufacturers, essentially all of them, producing a ready to wear and go VR headset. The problem may not be in the device, but more so what OS and software stores it will be able to adopt and work with. Steam is by far the biggest and easiest to use, but Oculus will likely just work with the Oculus store only. Many other VR devices in the works are all focusing on Steam. Which puts pressure on Oculus to either open up the Oculus store for easier access to other devices or adopt Steam also.
What we do know, is over the next few years, we will see a more and more appear from manufacturers and VR become more mainstream. It certainly makes for a very interesting period in gaming and experiences, but ultimately, it’s going to come down to price and what’s available for that device. Something that Oculus may have on the price, but in terms of content and availability of content elsewhere on Steam, remains to be seen.