Skip to main content

Oculus Cuts the Cord with $199 Standalone Go Headset

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg kicked off Oculus Connect 4 today (Oct. 11) with a lofty goal — to get 1 billion people into virtual reality.

Acknowledging the shortcomings of current headsets on the market such as the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift, Zuckerberg announced the Oculus Go. Available early next year, the $199 headset will be Oculus' first standalone headset.

When Oculus Go debuts, it will be the bridge between the Gear VR, which is powered by a smartphone, and Oculus Rift, which plugs into a PC. Totally self-contained, the headset will be completely wireless and won't require a phone to power it.

However, neither Zuckerberg nor Hugo Barra, Oculus' new head of VR, revealed anything about the processor or graphics cards used to power Oculus Go. They did mention that the new headset will be made out of a mesh material that should make for a lighter, comfortable headset, similar to Google's Daydream View.

MORE: Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive: The Rift is the Best Overall

Oculus Go is being outfitted with what Barra is calling "next-generation VR optics." These new lenses will have a 2560 x 1440 resolution and the same ultra-wide field of view of the original Rift.

Another big development comes from the audio space. Oculus will be the first VR headset to feature integrated spatial audio. The built-in audio drivers mean that you no longer have to connect a pair of headphones and you'll get that 3D audio experience that's sorely been missing from the virtual reality experience. (Samsung's HMD Odyssey, a mixed reality headset developed with Microsoft and unveiled last week, does offer spatial headphones, though that headset will plug into a PC.)

Although most of us will have to wait until next year to get an Oculus Go, developers can get their hands on the new headset starting in November. Hitting the sweet spot of price, accessibility and affordability, Go might be Oculus' best chance for the company to make the case for why VR is must-have tech.