In an age when leaks spoil every surprise, Facebook came very close to surprising everyone with the launch of its highly anticipated Oculus Go stand-alone VR headset. Announced at Facebook’s F8 developer conference (and given out to everyone at the keynote), the Oculus Go will hit store shelves today.
The Oculus Go itself is now available for order at Amazon, Best Buy, and a variety of retailers for just $200 for the 32GB version, and $250 for the 64GB version. The stand-alone VR headset doesn’t require a computer, or a smartphone, or any additional hardware. It works on its own, with an included controller device, and uses inside-out tracking instead of the typical outside-in tracking we’ve seen on high-end VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
All right, so what’s so special about this headset? Early reports suggest the headset doesn’t quite offer the same kind of horsepower you’d get out of an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift plugged into a powerful PC, but its low cost, comfortable fit, and truly un-tethered design make it something unique in the current VR landscape.
The Oculus Go features a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and reportedly boasts a full resolution of 2,560 x 1,440, which puts it right in between the HTC Vive Pro with its max resolution of 2,880 x 1,600, and the Oculus Rift with its resolution of 2,160 x 1,200. It comes in two configurations, one with 32GB of storage space, and one with 64GB of storage space.
According to leaks ahead of the announcement, it was clear that something big was going to happen at Facebook’s F8 keynote speech. Reddit users were posting photos of locked cabinets full of Oculus Go hardware, and signs at the F8 registration desk stating that attendees would be able to pick up their complementary Oculus Go hardware at 2 P.M. on May 2.
Amazon actually put up the listing a bit ahead of schedule, offering pre-orders well ahead of the official announcement, all of which promptly sold out — then Amazon removed the pre-order button entirely having realized its mistake.
Even brick-and-mortar retailers like Best Buy saw its share of leaks ahead of the announcement, with a Best Buy employee at a Fayetteville, Arkansas store showing off a photo of a locked cabinet full of Oculus Go hardware.