Oculus Quest wireless VR headset

2nd-gen Virtual Reality (VR) has arrived. On April 30, Oculus opened pre-orders for its new gears: the Oculus Quest VR headset, and the “upgraded” Oculus Rift S for PC.

Both peripherals sell for $399 and will reach the market on May 21.

The Oculus Quest is the most interesting of the pair. While the Oculus Rift S presents minor upgrades upon the original Oculus Rift, the Quest gear seems like the future of VR.

The Quest is a gaming gear. It comes with four wide-angle tracking cameras and dual hand controllers. Additionally, it supports Rift’s most popular games and VR experiences, like the best-seller Beat Saber or the shooter Robo Recall.

The Oculus Quest is the future of VR

Oculus Quest wireless VR headset
Oculus Quest wireless VR headset. Source: The Verge.

The Oculus Quest is a stand-alone VR headset. Oculus’ parent company Facebook wants the Quest to turn VR into a mainstream entertainment technology finally. And while is probably the best VR peripheral in the market, it’s still pricey and packs the classic problems of the segment.

The Quest is a heavier version of the original Rift peripheral without the fold-down headphones. Instead, audio goes through two speakers above the ears, just like the new Rift S.

Quest, as a standalone Rift, has no wires. You can connect it to your PC via wifi and give yourself more space to move around. It’s also the more powerful wireless VR solution as it packs full position-tracking through the whole room. More so, it doesn’t ask of you a powerful gaming PC to work. Instead, you pair it with a phone with a reasonably simple setup process.

The Oculus Quest asks players to paint a rectangle on the floor that becomes your playable area. That’s how you avoid other things in your room like a couch, and that’s how easy it is to set the Quest up.
Even so, the Quest’s cameras and sensors detect the environment and re-draws the playable area (or Guardian bounds) as you walk around.

Oculus Quest specs and features

The Quest’s hardware includes a 2017 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile processor plus 64GB or 124GB storage.

Its features include a power button, a volume rocker, and a USB-C port.

It has a battery that lasts around three hours of playtime. It’s also heavier than the Rift and, as said before, it’s completely wireless.

The Quest’s tracking system allows a maximum playing field of 25 per 25 feet, while it remembers 5 feet you take. In theory, it will enable you to backtrack in real life faster as the Quest won’t have to re-map everything. As for the screen, it gives 1600 x 1440 pixels on each eye.

With all of its improvements -sensors, wireless capabilities, convenient, and cheap- VR is still pricy, clunky, and socially awkward. I wouldn’t put my money on the Quest turning things around.

And, more so, it’s a heavy, weird thing to wear on your head for what I think is mostly a sub-par gaming experience.

Speaking of which, the Quest is launching with 50 titles. The catalog doesn’t include some of Rift’s most popular games like the open-world RPG Stormland.

One thing the Quest is addressing, though, is the fact that VR experiences are isolated and lonely. Oculus lets the peripheral stream the video to Chromecast, a smartphone, or an Nvidia Shield-enabled screen. However, this might be worts: it’s like saying out loud you won’t be paying any attention to the people around you, albeit they will be paying attention to what you’re doing.

What are your thoughts on this?

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