“The candy spot.” It appears like that’s going to be VR’s new focus, as we head into Oculus Join’s fourth annual iteration. And what’s that candy spot, precisely? Not cell VR, not PC-based VR, however a mix of each. No wires, however the identical high-fidelity expertise individuals get from the Oculus Rift.

That’s nonetheless in all probability a methods off, however Oculus took its first steps in that route at Join, asserting its new $199 Oculus Go headset, plus giving us our first look of the upcoming “Santa Cruz” prototype with inside-out place monitoring.

Let’s dig in.

[ Further reading: HTC Vive vs. Oculus Rift vs. Windows Mixed Reality: What’s the difference? ]

Oculus Go revealed

Oculus Go is fairly simple to clarify: Think about Samsung’s Oculus-based Gear VR headset, however with no need a separate telephone to energy the expertise. That’s it, actually.

Oculus

And actually that’s all Oculus wanted. The $99 Gear VR is a superb piece of , however its viewers was all the time restricted by the pool of people that personal a suitable Samsung Galaxy telephone. Oculus Go broadens that viewers considerably, and at $199 it’s set to be one of many most cost-effective VR headsets in the marketplace when it releases in early 2018—and with out wires tethering you to the PC.

Oculus Go additionally contains built-in audio, which is a particular enchancment over Samsung Go. It’s not the identical outsized on-ear headphones discovered on the core Oculus Rift, however there’s assist for spatial audio and the audio system appear like they’re constructed into the headscarf. I’ve come to rely upon built-in audio for VR—its comfort trumps the constancy (however added clumsiness) of separate headphones.

oculus go spatial audio Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Oculus Go.

Now, whether or not the expertise will likely be nearly as good as PC-centric VR? No method. The show is a bit higher, coming in at 2560×1440 in contrast with the Oculus Rift’s 2160×1200, however that is nonetheless cell VR at coronary heart. Oculus even rammed that time house, asserting that Gear VR apps will likely be suitable with Oculus Go, utilizing the identical management schemes.

It’s additionally value noting that Oculus Go doesn’t embody position-tracking for both the headset or controllers—like Gear VR, that is head-tracking solely. Meaning no room-scale, nor even the pseudo-room scale/standing expertise you may get with the fundamental Oculus Rift + Contact bundle.

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