What if what virtual reality (VR) needs to finally vault out of the realm of the curio and into wide usage isn’t lightness or power, but convenience? Something self-contained, with all the necessary processing and sensors and display components built in so you don't need to slap your phone into it or connect it to a PC or game console – but also wireless, so you can throw it in your bag and use it anywhere? Something with an on/off switch that just powers up and works? Something that you can easily remove and hand to a friend?
That’s the thinking behind so-called “standalone” headsets, which ditch cables and satellite devices in favor of ease of use. The Oculus Go, which goes on sale today starting at $199, is the first of its category, though not the last. Lenovo’s Mirage Solo, which works on Google’s Daydream virtual reality platform, is available on Friday starting at $399, with other standalones following later this year.