Why I Like the Oculus Go
I just got an Oculus Go. And it’s awesome. It’s everything that I wish VR was when my team first started working on a VR game. After it’s set up, you can literally pick it up, put it on, and be in VR in less than 30 seconds. It’s smooth, and easy, and polished.
For anyone that has used an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, you’ll know that this isn’t usually how VR works. Getting it running is not always a simple process. The sensors need to be set and reset. The USB hub is acting wonky again and the peripherals keep disconnecting. Sometimes the browser just won’t cooperate (we are working with webVR) and we can’t even see our game, much less play it. These are the hurdles of VR, and they are the reason that it isn’t a huge hit yet. Even the GearVR isn’t as easy as I wish it was. I congratulate myself every time I get my phone in there and Oculus Home opens on the first try.
But the Go — this is different. It just works. Every single time I’ve picked it up and put it on, it’s worked immediately. It turns on, I can use the remote to navigate the menus, and I can get an experience going with very little loading time. The Oculus Go is the first accessible VR experience in existence. It’s what we’ve been waiting for.
In terms of audience adoption of any new technology, accessibility has to be high on the priority list. If your awesome contraption isn’t easy to figure out, forget it. People have a low tolerance for confusion. They just want to have fun; they want to have the experience you promised them. With its high price tag, high minimum PC spec, and extensive setup process, VR hasn’t been very accessible for the average user. For people betting on VR being the next big thing — and there seem to be a lot of them — it won’t be, until it’s something that is easy for everyone to use.
A testament to its accessibility, my four year old has probably used the Oculus Go 10 times more than I have. My kid loves the thing. He travels to space, hangs with dinosaurs and rides every roller coaster he can find. Sometimes I watch him using it and realize that this is why VR will be commonplace by the time he’s an adult. As the child of two game devs, perhaps his is a unique experience, but I’d like to think that there are other kids out there, using these devices every day, and dreaming about the things they will one day create with them.
If you want to enjoy some of my four year old’s favorite VR experiences, check out the list below.