The future of virtual reality will not be cheap; that much we know from Facebook announcing it is discontinuing the affordable Oculus Go headset.
In a blog post on Tuesday, the company says the standalone £199 headset is being retired this year, after serving its purpose as a solid introduction to all-in-one VR experiences.
Oculus says the decision is partially thanks to the success of the Oculus Quest headset, which delivered the power and high-end experiences offered by the Oculus Rift, combined with the all-in-one convenience of the Go.
The company wrote: “As we look to the future, we’re grateful to the Oculus Go community for pushing the VR revolution forward. Unique amongst a landscape of tethered and drop-in systems, Oculus Go pioneered the all-in-one category—a new kind of VR with more freedom and flexibility. And that was a game-changer. Oculus Go opened up VR to many more people, and it helped redefine immersive entertainment.”
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The firm says the community will still be able to use the headset, with support and security patches promised until the end of 2022. Unfortunately, it’s the end of the road for new features, and new app submissions won’t be accepted after December 4.
While this the Oculus Go is on borrowed time, the company hopes it will prove a gateway to higher-end VR experiences for those users. The Oculus Quest has proved a popular lockdown gadget, with stocks exceedingly hard to come by during the pandemic. Oculus reckons this bodes well for the future, calling the Quest business sustainable.
Our review of the Quest earned 4.5/5 stars, winning praise for the wireless, all-in-one experience and best-in-class VR controllers, as well as a powerful Snapdragon 835 processor doing the heavy lifting.
Our reviewer wrote: “Pick-up-and-play convenience coupled with the affordability of an all-in-one system make the Oculus Quest the very best virtual reality headset you can buy. If VR is ever going to hit the mainstream, this is the headset to pull in the masses.”