Oculus seeks the democratization of virtual reality
One of the main setbacks for the success of virtual reality has always been the price tag. It is too expensive and it requires too much technology, and that isn’t even getting to the problem of the space it requires to use. But yesterday, Oculus may have addressed one of those major issues.
Yesterday, Oculus announced the production of a new headset. Revealed as part of its Oculus Connect conference, the Oculus GO is a little like a cheaper, sleeker version of the Oculus Rift. The new headset marks the company’s first step towards its new goal of expanding virtual reality as a medium accessible to all. Though one billion people is fairly ambitious, the $199 price tag for the new headset should greatly help its popularity.
Since it is cheaper than the Rift, one can expect the Oculus GO to have somewhat-reduced visual capabilities. But there are some things the GO would seem to do better and these are the things to be excited about.
For one, though the GO doesn’t require one to move around in an open space, it’s also entirely wireless. A controller is used for the functions of moving in-game, but one won’t have to worry about pulling over one’s computer when looking around anymore. The headset is additionally much lighter, despite its comparably-high resolution and new integrated audio. The built-in audio drivers, coupled with its wireless nature, help make the GO one of the easiest headsets to wear.
All in all, the GO would seem to be much cheaper and easier to maintain than its Rift counterpart, or many of the other headsets currently on the market. Whether this will translate into its success with the greater population outside its niche market has yet to be seen, however. But the GO certainly makes it a little easier to see a VR headset in every home, next to our color TVs and cell phones.
The Oculus GO will be available in early 2018 for $199. But if you would still like to get the fuller package of the Rift, Oculus is making that easier too. Oculus also dropped the price of the Rift significantly, from $499 to $399.