Sam Machkovech
– 5/1/2018, 5:30 PM Surprise! Oculus released a new virtual reality headset today.

The Oculus Go standalone headset is now for sale at Amazon, Newegg, and Best Buy starting at $199—yes, $199, with no other hardware required—following a retail-launch unveil at Facebook’s annual F8 conference. What’s more, Oculus sent us a working headset last week for the sake of a review—and I have no shortage of thoughts about what Oculus has gotten right with its first “budget” VR product.

Before I break down performance, software, features, and limitations, I want to set the scene by rewinding to another era in which a “futuristic” gadget sector began plummeting in price. Let’s travel back to the very beginnings of the portable MP3 player market.

In 2000, devices like the Rio and Nomad rapidly cashed in on Napster fever, but high prices, low memory, and serious limitations littered the pre-iPod era. Yet I recall this time fondly because of one odd device: a portable CD player that could also read MP3s.

I could burn a dozen albums onto a standard CD-R, then play it on an affordable Discman clone known as the Genica MPTrip (which, if you’re wondering, I discovered on Ars Technica’s forums). Oculus may not much care for this weird description, but its new Go headset is the Genica MPTrip of its time. Read more from…

thumbnail courtesy of