Back at the beginning of May, Amazon started taking preorders for the Oculus Go, a self-contained VR headset that doesn't require tethering to a PC or smartphone. It only took a few hours for Amazon to sell out of its initial batch. Eight weeks later, the Oculus Go has booked a trip overseas and is now available online and at more than 300 stores across Europe, the UK, and Canada.
"With Oculus Go available online and in retail stores across more countries, it’s easier than ever for people to enjoy all that standalone VR has to offer. From the convenient entertainment of Oculus TV and the intimacy of a VIP performance in MelodyVR to games like RUSH, Virtual Virtual Reality, and more, there’s something for every taste," Oculus stated in a blog post.
Part of the appeal of the Oculus Go is that it contains all the necessary hardware in the headset itself, setting it apart from headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and Samsung Gear VR. It's also comparatively affordable—pricing starts at $199 in the US, and £199/€219/$270 CAD in other parts of the world.
The Oculus Go uses a "fast-switch" LCD panel with a 2560x1440 (WQHD) resolution. Oculus says this approach "dramatically improves the visual clarity" and reduces the screen door effect, while also offering a wide field of view with reduced screen glare and 3 degrees of freedom (3DOF) head tacking.
As far as the content goes, it shares the same mobile app store as the Gear VR, which has more than 1,000 apps.
Depending on where you reside, here are some spots where you can now find the Oculus Go:
- Austria: MediaMarkt
- Belgium: Cool Blue
- Canada: Best Buy
- France: Amazon, FNAC/Darty
- Germany: Alternate, Amazon, MediaMarkt, Saturn
- Italy: Amazon
- Netherlands: Cool Blue
- Spain: Amazon
- Switzerland: Digitec
- UK: Amazon, Argos, Currys PC World, Dixons Travel, Harrods, Littlewoods.co.uk, very.co.uk
There are two models available, one with 32GB of onboard storage and another with 64GB. Both are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset and come with a motion controller and integrated spacial audio speakers (there's also a 3.5mm audio jack).
The Oculus Go is obviously not in the same league as the Rift or Vive in terms of power. However, it's a much cheaper solution with aim towards capturing the mainstream audience.
Coinciding the headset's wider availability is the launch of Oculus TV, a new and immersive way to watch TV shows, movies, and sports. The app itself is free and, according to Oculus, is the equivalent of watching TV on a 180-inch screen. Users can access a bunch of free and paid TV services through Oculus TV, including Hulu, Showtime, Pluto TV, and others.