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Go For Oculus Go

October 15, 2018

Mike Chin
Articles, Gadget, Technology  extended reality, latest news, oculus go, oculus go review, review, virtual reality, vr, VR headgear, XR 

 

OK, we’ve been keeping this to ourselves for a long time. So, before we spontaneously combust, let us just shout it out in the open:

WE HAVE OCULUS GO IN THE OFFICE!!

Like enthusiastic children unwrapping presents on a Christmas morning, we were super pumped up to discover not one, not two, but three sets of Oculus Go lying around in our open concept office; courtesy of our Directors’ trip to the AWE 2018 XR Expo in Santa Clara, California. In case you missed it, AWE is the most coveted 3-day event where XR pundits from all around the world congregate and share visions and ideas on how to grow together as a thriving community.

But we digress.

So, back to the Oculus Go. After spending days with them and trying out different apps, we felt that the Go is going to help pave the path to affordable, hassle-free VR.

(Also, are we the first in Malaysia to own the Oculus Go?)

 

Step aside boys, the Oculus Go is here.

 

The Name Says It All

The Oculus Go comes in 32GB and 64GB storage capacity, and the obvious plus point that sets it apart from other VR headgears is its standalone feature. And its pack-and-go concept adds convenience to bring it along anywhere we go. Gone are the episodes with thick and intertwined cables. Gone is the need for a console, a PC or a smartphone to power the experience. Just the sleek headgear and a nifty, straight-to-the-point joystick. The only element that this modest, portable system is missing to run a VR experience is a face for it to sit on.

But what made us shriek and geek out like characters from The Big Bang Theory is its superb audio engineering. We were bewildered by the technology that makes the audio so crisp, so vivid – without having to put on a pair of headphones. The audio output comes directly from the headset, and we can vouch that the immersive experience isn’t jeopardised at all (even in a noisy place). There’s also an output port should one feel the need to plug in a pair of headphones. But we doubt it.

 

With the already crisp audio quality that comes straight from the headgear, this is going to be one lonely hole.

 

Price

Sold at around USD199 for 32GB and USD299 for 64GB (currently exclusive only to US and European markets), it’s safe to say that the Oculus Go is today’s ambassador of affordable VR for all. Borrowing low-cost airline AirAsia’s tagline, we can say that “Now Everyone Can VR”.

But the inexpensive price of the Oculus Go doesn’t mean features were discounted at the assembly line. In fact, the moment we took it out of the box, we were already nodding in approval like a company of happy parakeets.

 

Polly wants affordable VR, Polly gets affordable VR with good quality.

 

Design

Well, obviously the first thing that caught our eyes was its aesthetics. It’s still bulky like any other VR headgear, but that’s understandable considering the fact that it’s a standalone VR. At least it doesn’t look like it came straight out of the movie Matrix. And it’s not actually lightweight, but not that heavy compared to other VR headgears. The power and volume buttons are positioned well at the top of the headgear. The straps are soft and adjustable, and its inner padding is super comfortable;  it’s as if we’re being touched by an angel every time we slip into the headgear. We didn’t have any qualms wearing it for a long period of time. And although there’s a tiny gap at the bottom of the headgear, it doesn’t really interfere with the whole experience.

 

The inner padding’s fabric material is heaven sent.

 

The Oculus Go controller has the same buttons as the Samsung Gear VR’s, with the same top trackpad and front trigger. But it’s far more solid-feeling and satisfying to use, and the whole package is rather minimalistic and unpretentious.

 

Does its job well even without flashy shape and design.

 

And as we mentioned earlier, the pack-and-go concept is translated into a convenient packaging design. The feature may sound minor to some, but it’s a blessing to us now that we can bring it along to VR demonstrations, presentations and meetings.

 

The pack-and-go concept may be the answer to outdoor VR, roadshows and tours.

 

Performance

The visual quality is rather excellent, featuring a 5.5-inch 2560×1440 screen. It’s based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor, and although these aren’t really incredible components, Oculus promises that they’re well optimised for VR apps. They also replaced the Gear VR’s magnifying glass-like lenses with higher-quality fresnel lenses, similar to those on the Oculus Rift.

You need a companion iOS or Android app to set up the Oculus Go, but it’s mostly optional after those first few minutes. The device connects to wireless networks independently, and you can buy games and adjust settings from either the app or the headset. Bafflingly, neither one lets you check how much storage space you’re using; there’s just a notification once you’ve got 2GB and 500MB left. But Oculus’ standard Home interface is otherwise full-featured, including a web browser and options for left-handed and right-handed browsing.

The battery life is not exactly near the three-hour claim by Oculus, as we’ve only gotten around two and a half hours before we had to plug the charger in. The headset takes a couple of hours to recharge, and Oculus’ user guide discourages using it while charging.

 

Verdict

The Oculus Go is everything you need to own an affordable high-quality, no hassle VR experience. A completely portable, stand-alone headset that doesn’t require a console, PC or phone to experience VR. We wouldn’t say that it’ll topple every other VR headgears overnight, because it won’t; but it’ll contribute in the long run to the induction of XR technology within today’s society. Plus, its simple, user friendly system and smart packaging could turn it into a great asset for events, activations and roadshows.

Want to find out how you can deploy the Oculus Go in your experiential marketing exercise? Drop us an email at info@theministry.asia and we’ll get you there.