Oculus debuts its $200 standalone VR headset: Oculus Go

F8 Attendees Get Free Oculus Go on May 2

The Oculus Go standalone head-mounted display (HMD) has launched today, available in 23 countries via Oculus.com with those in the USA also able to purchase the headset from Amazon, Newegg and Best Buy. A smartphone-class processor drives a "Fast Switch LCD" screen running at 2560 x 1440, which is shared by both eyes.

Unlike the Oculus Rift or Samsung's GearVR, the Oculus Go is a completely self-contained VR headset, meaning it doesn't need to be plugged into a PC and is not powered by a smartphone.

It's unclear when the Oculus Go is expected to ship, but the Amazon page includes a placeholder release date of December 31, 2018.

According to leaks ahead of the announcement, it was clear that something big was going to happen at Facebook's F8 keynote speech.

"For the first time, Oculus brings you a truly standalone VR headset-with no additional hardware, computers, or devices required". The Go can follow the movements of the wearer's head, and comes with a small handheld controller and trackpad. Battery life is claimed to last between 1.5 and 2 hours of gaming, 2 and 2.5 hours for video viewing.

It's not clear how numerous fully immersive Oculus Rift games will be playable on the Go, which runs on a processor meant for mobile phones (the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821), rather than the powerful processors and graphics cards required to use the Rift. More than 100 Go-exclusive games and apps will also be available to download through the headset's digital storefront.

"We think of VR as a spectrum", said Muthukumar, with the Rift at one end and the Gear VR at the other.

The Oculus Go, which is available for sale on the Oculus website, Amazon, and in Best Buy stores, starts at $199, about half the price of the company's high-end Rift product.

It is priced at £199 in the United Kingdom, $199 in the States with 32GB of storage built-in.

Perhaps Zuckerberg will find solace in the virtual worlds he can explore on the Go, far from lawmakers, investors, and Facebook commenters.

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