In exclusivity, here is the test of the Oculus Go, the mobile and wireless mobile autonomous VR headset that was long awaited by Facebook’s subsidiary. Finally a serious alternative to the Gear VR. After a week of testing on the different heads of our writing, here is our verdict on what looks like a meteorite in the world of virtual reality.
Name: Oculus Go
Category: VR Standalone Headset
Connection: Wi-Fi. Works wireless, without smartphone and without computer (requires a smartphone to be activated)
Compatibility: Android, iOS
Resolution: 538ppi; 2560 x 1440
Availability Oculus Go: Available
Autonomy: two hours for video games, two and a half hours for 360 ° video
Charge time: 3 hours
Sound: Works without earpiece. A jack plug is integrated.
Dimension: 190mm x 105 x 115mm
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Mobile VR Platform
What Can be done with the Oculus Go?
Obviously, this is the big question that all owners of virtual reality helmets ask themselves: will he stay in the closet? Oculus offers an interesting all-in-one formula thanks to a fairly complete ecosystem.
With its Oculus Go, it’s possible to do a lot of things:
- You can play several hundred games, some are very complete while others are very minimal (and useless). Among the games that have marked us, there are for example Coaster Combat that makes you travel in wagons, Catan VR(the virtual reality variant of the famous board game) and many other games like Republic VR, Anshar Online ( also present from Oculus Rift and HTC Vive), Pet Lab (from Tamagochi in VR), Space Explorers, Dreadhalls, Land’s End, Dead Secret, Dead Secret Circle and They Suspect Nothing. Most games are sold between 3 and 15 euros, while there are a lot of free games too.
- One can watch videos, including series and movies on Netflix VR and Plex, but also videos stored on his phone or headset through video players. There is also 360 degree content, photographs and videos. For example, there are reports from Arte or all Facebook publications made with the help of a 360-degree camera. MelodyVR allows, for example, live concerts.
- One can surf the web, with a pre-boarded browser. What I do not really recommend, unless you are too lazy to take off your helmet and go back to real life.
- Finally, we can also enjoy some social functions. These social experiences are offered by Facebook, including the application Oculus Rooms.
Virtual reality wireless, without smartphone and without PC. Beautiful and enticing promises that made the Oculus Go sparkle since its announcement. The Oculus Go and the HTC Vive Focus sound for many the death knell of VR headsets to connect to a very expensive computer. The moment of democratized VR, where every household has their virtual reality headset happened? Answers in this test.
Unboxing: The Box that the future crown of the VR deserves?
The packaging of the Oculus Go is directly reminiscent of those of Apple products. A white box with the product highlighted on the main face. We notice in small right the mention ‘by Facebook’.
Then just lift the cardboard to see the helmet appear. It is simply placed on a base with the controller and a small black box in which are the instructions and accessories. It is rare to keep the packaging of the objects that one buys, but here the cardboard acts as display and base for the Oculus Go.
As with the Oculus Rift, the controller works with a battery provided by the manufacturer. An easily excusable choice for the Rift which is intended to be used at home. But difficult to understand for the Oculus Go, which as the name suggests is intended for nomadic use. Oculus explained to us that he could not communicate about the possible future release of a battery joystick. For advice on use we can quickly read a “not recommended for children under 13 years “, as well as the manufacturer’s manual. Note the presence of a latex accessory to place inside the helmet for eyeglass wearers. The Oculus Go is easily recharged via a mini USB cord provided by Facebook.
Design and ergonomics of the Oculus Go: a beautiful product signed Xiaomi
Yes, the Oculus Go is beautiful. With its silvery and gray colors, one would think when you see it for the first time that it is a product of the famous brand apple. The finishes are very correct and the helmet is not heavy. Barely 467g. Which is very nice once put on the head. In game, we forget very quickly that almost half a kilo weighs on the top of our skull. One detail, however, caught our attention. The helmet is signed MI for Xiaomi. Indeed, Facebook has signed a partnership with the Chinese brand regarding the production of its standalone VR headsets.
The fabric fasteners are very comfortable and can be adjusted very easily, although it is better to ask for help to tighten the straps at the first use. However, on long hair, the back straps do not catch the hair. This has the effect of sliding the Oculus Go to the front of the head.
Unlike the rift helmet that sweats very quickly, that of the Go is entirely fabric . Which is already more pleasant. And then, it helps to limit perspiration . The helmet has three buttons located above. One to turn it on and off . Two more to increase or decrease the volume. If it is better to wear headphones in addition to the Oculus Go, it is not necessary. The headset is equipped with speakers.
The sound comes out of two notches discreetly placed inside. Attention, if you do not want to be noticed, the use of loudspeakers is a very bad idea. Everyone will hear what you are doing. The sound is not isolated at all inside the helmet. Fortunately, a Jack plug is integrated and allows to connect a headset or headphones.
Completely gray, in the same tones as the helmet, it is very pleasant to hold in hand. It is composed of a touch-pad very convenient to scroll through the menus. It is important to take it in hand before putting the helmet on the head. Once immersed in the VR you will find it difficult to find it without bumping into your furniture.
At the back a trigger can click on the menus or shoot in the FPS . The buttons on the front allow you to return to the main menu or recalibrate the joystick. Yes, ‘recalibrate the controller’ because unfortunately, it is very different from the Rift. This is where the helmet’s weak point lies . The joystick does not move freely his arm. To give you an idea, it’s as if it’s hanging on your body. What makes you feel like tiny T-Rex arms? What a shame, the helmet had everything to be perfect. A choice of Oculus that we regret bitterly. But let’s not be too hard. Games and applications tested are still very pleasant to use with this accessory.
Graphic quality and immersion
With its 538ppi screens; 2560 x 1440, the headset is much more immersive than its competitor the Gear VR. The graphic quality is exceptional. For the moment, the application catalog does not take full advantage of the capabilities of the headset. Tested on many games like Catan VR or Ultrawings, the result is bluffing. However this will never replace an Oculus Rift, an HTC Vive or even a PSVR of a much higher quality. And that’s normal. Remember that it is a standalone VR headset at 199$.
So no expensive smartphone or PC to connect to the device for it to work. A great product for all those who can not afford the high-end headsets. Excellent also for nomadic use in transport for example. The promise of ‘without smartphone or PC’ is not fully respected. Indeed, it is mandatory to link its Oculus Go to its application during the first use.
Note that the menu of the Oculus GO is identical to that of the Samsung Gear VR. Indeed, the store of applications is common between the two helmets. Very beautiful, we take pleasure in lighting his Oculus Go to find himself in a beautiful Zen space worthy of the most comfortable Japanese salons. There is everything. Action games, social applications to meet with friends and beautiful videos to contemplate in 360 °.
As for the battery . Count two hours for video games, two and a half hours for 360 ° video. The headset is available in 32 and 64 GB versions.
Oculus Go: Extending your Facebook via the Oculus Room
The Oculus Room is an application pre-installed on your helmet. It allows you to meet up with your friends in a virtual space to chat. Once your chosen avatar you can move in a lounge where you can play small games . From musical quizzes to board games, there is something for everyone. Like in your real home, you can change the interior and put on some music. Connecting people to each other is Facebook’s mission. Apparently virtual reality seems to be the new battleground of the social network.
Big disappointment with the live-stream on Facebook. The quality is poor . Can not stream above 360p. Maybe that will be corrected in the future. In any case. the function is unusable as is. Same for video capture. Can not use this feature anywhere other than the menu.
The Promise of 1000 Applications
More than 1000 applications at its release. A promise that Oculus has partly kept. Indeed The Oculus Go shares his blind with that of Gear VR. This explains the presence of the Gear controller in most games. For the moment, only about ten applications managed to hold our attention. The Oculus Go suffers from a lack of “good apps” and “good games”. Even if it is not expensive, a few euros in general, the apps are not great , entertaining at most. Maybe it would be wiser to wait a bit before buying this product. The time that the awning fills up good programs .
However, the headset is great when it comes to 360 videos . The menu offers a “discovery” tab . It is a platform that allows you to discover 360 videos and immersive experiences. The diversity of the proposed catalog is astounding and is constantly renewed.
What are the Differences between the Oculus Go and the Samsung Gear VR?
These are two fairly similar formulas, but also very different. Samsung offers Gear VR, compatible with its smartphones and designed in collaboration with Oculus. It takes a Samsung Galaxy S or Note, and a compatible headset to make it work. On the side of the Oculus Go, you need … the Oculus Go. The latter is autonomous.
Oculus Go was designed to be mobile without killing your phone’s battery and from our experience so far … it does that very well. You can carry a Gear VR wherever you can carry an Oculus Go, but you will need an extra portable battery.
The Gear VR offers many more games and apps for the moment, through a dedicated store, but also the Google Play Store. Oculus Go, on the other hand, offers game ports for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
It must be said that the Gear VR is now several years old and Samsung continues to market its VR headset. But the Korean manufacturer does not put as much effort into marketing. He was missing the keynote of the Galaxy S9 , for example. Why ? Simply because it is not new to its customers.
It is more natural to compare Daydream VR and Oculus Go: both offer a mobile virtual reality experience, Google on one side, Oculus on the other. Daydream VR has the potential to be the essential mobile VR platform because it is compatible with a selection of Android smartphones and there are also standalone headsets (including the Lenovo Mirage Solo ). Unfortunately, Google does not seem to be deploying enough energy in this project yet. We will certainly have some surprises by the end of the year.
The Oculus Go has prepared the coming of the Quest
The Oculus Go is the first born of the autonomous helmets of the subsidiary of Facebook. The company also believes that the future of virtual reality headsets is autonomous. The Oculus Rift is, therefore, probably doomed to remain the only Oculus VR headset connected to a PC. The American firm has, in fact, recently presented the Oculus Quest which is a mix between the autonomy of Go and the power of the Rift . Presented at the Connect 5 conference that took place at the end of September, the Oculus Quest promises to be a small revolution. As the Go moves more towards an audience eager to discover the potential of virtual reality, the Quest is geared more towards gamers and those who want power and interaction .
The Quest is a complement to the Go and not his replacement. It will be marketed in the spring of 2019 at a price of $ 399 or twice the price of GB. The Oculus Quest differs in particular by its computing power but also and especially by its controllers. Oculus’s future virtual reality headset also features an integrated environment tracking system (thanks to four front-facing cameras) that replace a Room Scale. Much more practical and powerful than a Room Scale, its detection system will allow players to use it in any room without having to install external sensors.. The Oculus Quest will also use the Rift games and applications catalog, while the Go should only be satisfied with the Gear VR catalog.
The Oculus Go is a real commercial success
The US market research institute Superdata estimates that more than one million Oculus Go headsets have passed since its release . The firm says that more than half of sales have been made in the last 3 months. It is true that Black Friday and Christmas shopping are conducive to massive sales. It’s a little less than the PlayStation VR which remains the most sold virtual reality headset currently. The Oculus Rift, more expensive and requiring a more powerful computer would have flowed, when he only 160,000 copies in the same period of the fourth quarter of 2018.
Autonomous helmet sales figures are therefore extremely encouraging and should also be reflected in more games and future applications for this VR helmet. This is also great news for the autonomous headsets that show that the public prefers autonomy to the connection to ultra-powerful PCs. This is a good omen for the Oculus Quest, which promises more power and better resolution.
TPCast offers a wireless streaming solution
The Chinese start-up TPCast, already known for its wireless VR solutions, presented at the CES, a wireless streaming system from a PC to Oculus Go headsets using a standard WiFi network . The concept makes it possible to run applications requiring more power than the Oculus Go’s internal processor allows it from a PC and send it by streaming to the standalone headset.
The professional applications of this solution are numerous. The education, real estate, architecture or even industrial training could take advantage of these features on a helmet both autonomous and cheaper than Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. Note that this solution will also be compatible with the Oculus Quest when it is released.
6DoF controllers for the Oculus Go
At CES 2019, the start-up Finch introduced controllers 6 degrees of freedom compatible with the Oculus Go . These controllers allow tracking in all 6 axes, unlike the controller marketed with the Oculus Go which only supports 3 axes. The tracking system is rather accurate even if we can regret a slight latency.
These 6 DoF controllers fill a gap on stand-alone headsets . However, no date has been put forward for their commercialization, and the young plant has indicated that it prefers to focus initially on the field of education and the medical sector before a possible commercialization for the general public.
Final Score of the 8/10 Test
The oculus Go is an excellent product to advise anyone who can not afford a more expensive VR grind . For almost 199 dollars, Facebook has managed to offer a standalone VR headset accessible to all. Attention, it is important to say that the graphic quality has nothing to do with an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive . In no case the Oculus Go will replace a high-end VR headset. The Oculus Go, however, may become a staple of 2018 and mark forever the step towards the democratization of VR . At this price, no excuse not to immerse yourself in virtual reality.
- A headset that works without a PC, smartphone or cable
- A very beautiful product
- Much more comfortable than most helmets
- The price
- Perfect for 360 ° video
- the tracking of the joystick
- The lack of interesting applications