The Oculus Go is to be discontinued by the end of 2020, according to an announcement by the manufacturer that will have unfortunate consequences for entry-level VR users.
As explained in a blog post by Oculus (opens in new tab) (via TechRadar), sales of this affordable 2018 headset will be coming to an end this year, with no new features or apps being added after December 4, 2020. Existing owners of the Go will get security updates to their headset through to 2022 however, meaning it'll remain safely usable for some time yet. The blog post also announced a new method to share Quest apps, which will make it easier for developers to publish their content without going through Oculus curation first.
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The reason for this decision looks to be the success of the Oculus Quest, a more fully-featured headset that still retains the all-in-one convenience of the Go. The Quest uses Oculus' 'Insight' tracking system which offers six degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) to the Go's 3DOF, in essence head and body tracking instead of just head tracking.
The on-board processing means that you don't need to plug the headset into a computer or insert a smartphone, which is far more convenient for both players and developers to work with.
This is bad news if you want a VR headset for something other than gaming. The $200 Oculus Go was aimed at a more general audience, coming with a single controller that would let you navigate through menus and video players easily, while also giving you the immersive experience that defines VR.
Now that same group of people will either have to stump up the extra cash to buy the $400 Quest, or look for other VR headsets elsewhere. Another affordable option is the PlayStation VR headset, but that hardware requires you to own a PS4. Here's hoping the Oculus Quest gets a price cut in the coming months in order to bring more users into the fold.