Virtual reality without a PC or smartphone
To my mind, the main reasons that virtual reality has struggled to get into homes have nothing to do with the quality of the experiences, and everything to do with the high cost of entry and fiddly setup. I’ll remember my first stomach-churning memory of Rich’s Plank Experience on HTC Vive for the rest of my life, but there are certainly cheaper ways to feel nauseous for the budget conscious.
The Oculus Go is Facebook and Xioami’s attempt to fix both the pricing and convenience problems, and it absolutely succeeds by providing a wire-free VR headset that doesn’t need a smartphone or PC. It retails for a competitive £200, but right now Argos is selling the headset at 25% off: it’s yours for £149.99. Plus, if you buy before 29 August, Argos will throw in a £10 voucher, too.
That’s a very good deal, but I’ll start with the one drawback first: this isn’t full room-scale VR. Because there are no cameras, it can’t track your movement as you walk around, say. For that you’d need to spend a whole lot more on better hardware and a potentially a PC to run it.
The drawbacks end there, though. There’s no awkward setup, where you click your phone into the headset as with the Google Daydream View or Gear VR. There are no cables to get tangled up in, as with the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Just put the headset on, and you’re away in fully immersive game or video, able to look around as if you’ve been transported to another place.
As Tom wrote in our review: “It’s capable enough to deliver an immersive VR experience, yet affordable enough not to put off huge swathes of its target market.
“If you’ve been debating whether to dip a toe in the virtual water but have so far resisted the urge, Oculus and Xiaomi have just provided the most convincing reason why you should take the plunge.”
Suffice it to say, it’s even more convincing with a £50 saving.
Buy now from Argos