What you see in the picture above is the new Oculus Go VR Headset.
It is $199 and is the easiest way to get into virtual reality.
You don’t have to put your smartphone in it, you don’t have to connect it to your PC, and there are no cables at all.
The Oculus Go is a standalone headset.
You just have the headset and the wireless controller.
It is essentially a half-way house between the cheaper Samsung Gear which uses your phone and the Full blown PC gaming Oculus Rift.
The price tag of $199 sits right between the two as well.
Before we get into reviewing the Oculus Go, let’s see what you get in the box.
In the BOX
As well as the headset and the controller, you get a few little accessories in the box as well.
A glasses spacer which makes it easy for people who wear glasses to use the headset
An AA battery for the controller
A wrist strap
A lens cleaning cloth and a micro UBS cable
The Oculus Go
It is one of the more comfortable headsets we have used, with easily adjustable velcro straps, a breathable foam material around your eyes, and a gray matt plastic shell for the rest of the body.
There is a bit of a weight to it, but it makes the Oculus Go feel well built and it also more evenly distributed VS the Gear VR which has a phone at the front.
There is a power button, volume rocker, and on the side, you get a micro USB port and a 3.5 mm headphone jack port.
You actually don’t need to use headphones and as there are speakers built into the straps, which give a decent 3D sound experience.
There is also a built-in microphone at the bottom of the headset so you can chat to people.
Specs wise it is basically a Xiaomi phone built-into the headset.
34/64 GB storage
2560 x 1440 LCD
60 – 70 HZ
You also get a single wireless controller which has a trigger, a touchpad, and a couple of button for going back and going home.
It also has a wrist strap that prevents you from flinging it across the room and breaking something.
How to get the Oculus Go set up
Firstly you will need to download and sign in to the Oculus Go companion app on your phone. (Supports both iOS and Android)
Plug the headset into a power outlet using a bundled micro USB cable to charge it up.
Then what you need to do is to hold the power button down until it starts up, after that it is a simple case of following the instructions of the app to connect the headset via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
It will then ask you to put the battery in the controller and select whether you will be using it with your left or right hand.
Now you have finished the setup process, it will take you to the Oculus store page.
It will automatically start updating your Oculus Go headset to the latest software, which will take about 15 minutes.
While it updating you can browse the store and downloads some apps you like.
Putting on the headset
After a quick tutorial and choosing what landscape you like as your background, you will find yourself in the main menu.
Here you will see all your apps, upcoming events, tabs for discovering new apps and at the bottom, you will the settings.
The first thing we noticed the great picture quality which closer the to what you get on the much expensive Rift.
In fact, the Oculus Go uses newer second-generation lenses VS the Rift, which reduces glare.
In terms of lenses and screen quality, the Oculus Go is on par with VR devices two or three times more expensive.
The fact that it has no cables attached to it makes it so easy to use.
We should tell you that the Oculus Go is more of the media entertainment device than a full-blown gaming VR headset.
There are over 1000 VR experiences available on the Oculus Go, and we had a lot of fun trying out some of them.
What’s available in the store?
The Netflix app puts you in an Alpine cabin setting with a massive TV in front of you, there is a Hulu app with loads of videos, many of which are 3D from the Oculus store.
Or the likes of National Geographic
There is even a web browser which is pretty handy for watching YouTube videos or anything else you like.
Another app we loved was MelodyVR which lets you watch artists in concert or even in their private balconies.
Which is pretty cool
There are loads of games you can try but they are all pretty basic.
We’re not saying you can’t have fun with these but there isn’t anything that will get you to come back for more.
The games are mostly on rails or locations with things happening around you.
Games we liked
If you remember Playstation Home, the virtual social multiplayer game where you could communicate with other players, hang out and play simple games.
That did not work out that well but Oculus Go have introduced their own version of it called Oculus Room.
You can join a public area or you can invite friends to join you in a virtual parlor.
You can chat, play games, listen to music and bunch of other stuff.
It could be quite fun as to hang out with friends you don’t get to meet very often, especially if they are living abroad.
Future plans for the Oculus Go
The Oculus people are planning live events such as exclusive concerts, conferences, games etc.
This is a pretty neat idea and hopefully, they can provide new content regularly.
Mostly what we get with the Oculus Go are experiences or tech demo games.
After using Oculus Rift and the Vive, the lack of real-world positioning tracking on the Oculus Go takes away from the immersion.
You can’t crouch down or move around in VR worlds, and of course, unlike those high-end headsets which are hooked up to your PC, you can’t play any proper games.
You only have one controller, there is no 3D positioning tracking, and it is running on a phone processor from 2016.
But that is okay!
It is just $199!!
Which is still a fair bit of money but it is half the price of the Oculus Rift.
And also there are no cables getting tangled up with things, it is just EASY.
For this price, the Oculus Go can be a pretty cool gift for someone.
Overall the Oculus Go is great, but not perfect.
The battery life is about 2 hours when gaming and 2 ½ hours if you are watching video.
So it does not last that long and it takes a full 3 hours to charge.
Still, we had tons of fun with the Oculus Go.
If someone tells me that they want to experience VR and asked what VR headset to buy, I would recommend the Oculus Go without hesitation.
It is a solid set up in quality over the phone based headsets like the Gear VR, however, if you have a gaming PC and want to experience the best possible gaming VR, it will always be the Oculus Rift.