back to article Oculus Go: Capable kit, if the warnings don't put you off

Earlier this month, I jotted down some initial impressions about the Oculus Go virtual reality headset I received at Facebook's F8 developer conference. Last weekend, I had a chance to play around with it more thoroughly and to test it on unsuspecting family members. What follows is a more considered account of the face- …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    So... in essense...

    my effusive 15-year-old never expressed any interest in returning to the virtual world.

    Here today, gone tomorrow.

    and/or

    A flash in the pan

    and/or

    A solution waiting for a question

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'man-in-the-middle attack on your relationship with the world'

    ..........."Worse still, the entire Oculus ecosystem hooks into Facebook. You're encouraged to sign in, connect to friends, and to make the experience social. More data, less privacy. Facebook execs have become fond of framing VR as a social medium. It is just the opposite. It's a man-in-the-middle attack on your relationship with the world."...........

    -

    Nailed it! Nice one El Reg! Buying Oculus? No chance! That said, who can you trust? I'd planned to get PS4 VR. But just look at how Sony's Smart TV's operate... Fuck that:

    -

    https://www.consumerreports.org/televisions/samsung-roku-smart-tvs-vulnerable-to-hacking-consumer-reports-finds/

    -

    "All-or-nothing privacy policy. The Sony television was the only one that required you to agree to a privacy policy and terms of service to complete the setup of the TV.

    The set uses Google’s Android TV platform, and consumers have to click yes to Google agreements, even if they don’t plan to connect to the internet. That could be a frustrating thing to discover only after you’d bought the big-screen TV at the store, lugged it home, and maybe mounted it to a wall. Even though you can’t skip the Google privacy policy, you can say no to the user agreements from Sony itself and from Samba TV, a provider of ACR technology."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'man-in-the-middle attack on your relationship with the world'

      ""All-or-nothing privacy policy. The Sony television was the only one that required you to agree to a privacy policy and terms of service to complete the setup of the TV."

      I bought a Samsung Blu-Ray disk player several years back that required the user to agree to a long list of disturbing things before you could enter the settings screen.

      One of the items you had to agree to was that if the user tried to reverse engineer or poke around inside the box you could be tried in a court of law in a foreign country subject to the rules and punishment of that country if found guilty.

      I tried to find a copy of the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy online so that I could show it to some friends but couldn't find the exact wording as it appeared on-screen.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'man-in-the-middle attack on your relationship with the world'

        My cheapish sammy 55” telly 4K with 2017 tizenOS offered me a page of small print on first boot, but I was able to skip and use it comprehensively. The icon hasn’t gone away yet, and tv is obviously on its own IoT subnet, but it all seems to work. I agree that Sony(rootkit)+Android(slurp) is a worst-case nightmare.

        VR for the younger kids is alleged to alter the way their brain develops synapses that might be useful in real life, - so although I’ve bought a system that can generate 360deg vids, and later takes an eGPU for ‘real vr’, that pc is mostly being used for the ikea kitchen design plugin.

  3. James 51

    Given that it seems essentially to be a S6 in a gear vr without the phone part, does it over heat after thirty minutes of minecraft?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "For those dying to test the VR waters, the Go is a capable vessel."

      No it's not, it's a very misleading entry into VR that is likely to turn of users from massively more capable real VR systems like PSVR and the like.

      Given how PSVR is a full blown VR, abiet needing a wire, but adding head tracking and massive resolution bump, optical and field of view improvements and massive game library and for a few quid more, this is a really bad deal.

      1. James 51

        Given that you'd need a PS4 4 Pro to go with that PSVR it's not a few quid more, it is several hundreds more.

        1. JaimieV
          Holmes

          PS4 normal is fine

          Still most of a couple of hundred quid but not Pro prices.

      2. Dz1

        Some of your information is false. The PSVR does not have a "massive bump in resolution" over the oculus go. Actually it is the opposite. It is the oculus go that has a massive bump in resolution over the PSVR.

        Also the field of view of the Go and the PSVR is about the same, maybe the Go has an advantage there too but I'm not sure.

        Lastly, you claim the optics on the PSVR are better but that is not true either. The Go has the latest lenses that are likely much better than the out of date lenses in the psvr. I know that the lenses in the Go are a lot better than the lenses in the full blown pc VR headset made by oculus, the oculus rift.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "...out of date lenses..."

          Strange concept (disposable contact lenses not withstanding).

        2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          The Go has the latest lenses that are likely much better than the out of date lenses in the psvr

          Given that a lens is basically just a shaped lump of transparent material, I'd be deeply surprised if there have been any recent developments in that field that would allow you to tell the difference between a lens made yesterday, and one made 50 years ago (advances in plastics aside).

          1. VikiAi
            Boffin

            You'd be wrong. Twisting the output of a flat display two inches in front of the eye so it enters the eye in any recognisable form is something we still don't know how to do well. Lense theory in this specific area has improved by at least an order of magnitude in the last few years. And it is still pretty horrible!

    2. Dz1

      According to reviews it is much better than an S6 in a gear vr. It does not overheat for one thing and it is much smoother than an S6 according to what I've read.

  4. IsJustabloke
    Trollface

    Inquiring minds want to know....

    what your significant other finds skeptical about musicians?

    1. DropBear

      Re: Inquiring minds want to know....

      ...maybe some of the audiophile nonsense some of them try to razzle-dazzle you with...? *coughsomeguycalledneilcough*

  5. MJI Silver badge

    What use is it?

    Compared to a Vive or PSVR?

  6. Lee D

    Does it solve these problems:

    - My gaming laptop is 8 years old. Plays GTA V just fine, but I probably only want to play casual VR games. Will it work?

    - If I have two of them plugged into the same PC will it work? Or do my games parties need two high-powered machines and two expensive VR headsets just to shoot arrows at each other in a cartoon world?

    - If I buy an Oculus, can I play all the VR games (Steam VR games, Vive games) without too many faffing about with drivers and convertors and shim layers and things?

    I don't think it solves any of the above, but it's hard to be sure as no review ever really covers that aspect.

    1. JaimieV

      The Go is a stand-alone Android device, so orthogonal to your PC-gaming based questions. The Go does play casual VR games though.

      Your old laptop won’t drive a Rift or a Vive, the gpu will be about six years too slow.

  7. Paul

    It's US$250 st Bestbuy in the USA, and £250 in the UK, which even after accounting for sales tax in the USA, means a hefty markup!

    This article also failed to mention it's made by Xiaomi, so I imagine in due course when the exclusivity contacts lapse, you'll be able to buy one without the Facebook branding and spyware.

    1. casinowilhelm

      about £33 once you account for VAT. Also US people will have to add their local sales tax on top, which for some reason is never included in any marked prices anywhere there.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Other uses for the Oculus software?

    I have seen Facebook's Oculus software in dodgy apps found in third party app hosting sites while doing research.

    It seemed very odd that some of these apps had VR software embedded as they really had nothing to do with VR.

    It may be that the "developers" of these shady apps just hobbled together a bunch of API's to create the apps that may have contained the Oculus code by accident.

    Most all the shady apps I see have code copied and paste from GitHub and when I copy some of the code strings into a search engine I can usually find out who the "developers" of these shady apps are because the code strings pop up on "Stack Overflow" and other sites where the devs are asking for help trying to get their dodgy app to function.

  9. casinowilhelm

    "my effusive 15-year-old never expressed any interest in returning to the virtual world."

    This was my feeling exactly. We got hold of a couple of oculus DK2 devkits a while ago, and my first experience playing alien isolation was just that it was quite simply the best thing since sliced bread (or sliced space trucker). This is the future, it's amazing, so immersive, I thought. Fast forward about 2 weeks and it was on my shelf, never to be touched again for over a year apart from as a party novelty to show to visitors (and work never asked for it back - they lost interest too). I have no idea why the initial compelling nature of it faded so rapidly. Maybe it was the multiple cable faff every time I used it or maybe because it's so inherently antisocial.

    1. johnnyblaze

      You hit the nail. VR is all great... for about 30 minutes, then you wonder why you bothered, and never touch it again. Glad I only spent a few quid on the Google cardboard when I did. That was enough for me.

      1. Shufflemoomin

        Playing around with a cardboard and thinking you've tried VR without trying a rift or vive is like driving a 1 litre fiat and saying that you know you wouldn't enjoy a Ferrari.

  10. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

    Can we please have a review from someone that's a bit more realistic?

    What I really want to know is how it compares with a Rift. The Rift is ok, but considerably lower fidelity than a modern game, awkward to set up, and needs a powerful PC. How much of this does the Go manage? 40% as good?

    Yes, it's valuable information that the single controller is less useful than the Rift/Vive's two, but it's simply not accurate to say that VR doesn't add an extra dimension to interaction.

    It's like 3D monitors - for some purposes it works fine, for others not so much. Having played a little with VR sculpting, looking at 3D formulae that can be rotated before my eyes with virtual hands, the spatial dimension of sitting inside a different environment, or being at the bottom of the sea surrounded by glowing fish, it definitely has some uses.

    I've barely used my Rift for over a month mainly because it's a faff (and I have other stuff to do). A new standalone desktop is expensive (although the GPU drought is ending) and my study is small, so a realistic VR experience involves using extension cables into another room.

    This is all manageable with a little planning, but it's a lot less convenient than something that can be picked up and just stuck on your head.

    VR is definitely not a panacea, but it will have its place. Time will show exactly which niche it fills.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    VR is the next big thing

    honest, it's not like Lawnmower man is over 25 years old now is it.

  12. Baldrickk

    And if you're skeptical about VR but nonetheless decided to see what all the fuss is about, the Go will make you glad you didn't splurge on more capable kit.

    Or put you off without having the chance to experience what a more comprehensive VR (6DoF tracking for headset and multiple controllers AKA roomscale) is like.

    The Go is like an up-market Cardboard experience - as noted in the article, it only has directional tracking, so it doesn't match up to the experience that VR can provide.

    If you are considering VR, you owe it to yourself to skip going out and buying one of these, and instead go and try a proper VR setup - if you know a friend with one, try that, otherwise some stores will demo the kit, or there are VR arcades popping up for example.

    Give them a try, for considerably less cost, and see what you think of that before going further.

    you can choose to, or not depending on what you think of it, I won't try to force anyone's opinion.

    It's like buying a car (for enjoyment) - you could buy a Ferrari, but it's expensive, so you decide to buy a second hand Fiesta from the 90s instead to see if driving is fun.

    You end up with a car, but you don't get the experience of the more expensive item, so you can't make a fully considered opinion on cars in general.

    If you were to go to a track day on the other hand, you could experience it without having to shell out the full price for one, and then decide what you want to do.

  13. TangoDelta72
    Boffin

    This looks like a psychotropic reaction

    It's coming...

    https://youtu.be/I3ih-sm6hxA

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