Oculus Quest 2 – Include us on an(different) entertaining Quest » Stuff
The Oculus Quest 2 is a great headset, and in most cases that really matter, better than its predecessor. However, Facebook has made some design changes that result in this device – despite being a better device – being missing or downgrading the features it previously downgraded. Also mandatory Facebook login? “Really?”
The nice thing about virtual reality is that you control almost everything that happens there. Unless you’re playing Arizona Sunshine or Half-Life: Alyx or something. In this case, you react – but the environment is tightly controlled. Nothing like real life, which is why it always feels better to escape into VR these days. And devices like Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 are trying to make this easier than ever.
And successful. If you want to immerse yourself in a truly compelling virtual reality experience based on the hardware without buying a massive PC and headset from HTC, you’ve found the droid you’ve been looking for. The Oculus Quest 2 is an amazing wireless VR experience that will … likely … cost you a lot more than you expected to spend at the Oculus Store. That said, it’s not all rainbows and positivity. So just like in real life.
Designed to be … cheaper
Obviously, this isn’t the first quest we’ve been on. The first Oculus Quest was great enough to be named Stuff’s Gadget of the Year in 2019. Do you know in the past A long long time ago? There are a number of improvements to the headset this time around, but Facebook has also chosen to make the build quality a little cheaper in places.
This is particularly evident in the standard belt that comes with the Quest 2. It’s comfy enough, but a step back from the original Quest, much like the canvas straps you might remember from your school bag. Okay, a little more premium than that, but still.
But we also have the Oculus Quest 2 Elite strap and carry case to play with, and that makes this hardware much higher quality … of course for an additional fee. The Elite strap also extends the headset’s battery life significantly, so it’s well worth purchasing. However, once you’ve bought all the extras, spend what you would have if Facebook just packed it all up. The things that people do to increase sales …
If you take it into account
The Quest 2 has a feature that we really, really don’t like. Well, it’s kind of a bug, but Facebook doesn’t seem to think so – in order to use Oculus Quest 2 at all, you’ll need to log into your Facebook account. If you don’t have one, you have to make one. Without it, it doesn’t work. If you delete your Facebook account at any time, you will also lose everything you purchased from the Oculus Store. Path. Disappeared. No way to restore it.
It’s not much different from deleting your Microsoft account and losing your Xbox One purchases. We assume that only Microsoft does not ingest user data in as many ways as possible in the same way as Facebook does. Not that it matters that – someone is going to come along and jailbreak the Oculus Quest 2 so you don’t have to send Facebook telemetry every time you experience twitching while playing Superhot. But if you know anything about Facebook, this … is not the device for you.
That’s a shame because aside from the future dystopian corporate government who owns it, the Oculus Quest 2 is really an excellent piece of VR. The device update rate was improved – although the best bit was a 90Hz update that happened after the first start. The resolution for Quest 2 has been increased to 1,832 x 1,920, which makes a difference. However, if you are prone to VR nausea, all you have to do is postpone the resolution for a while. That’s okay, it happens to the best of us.
Internally there are also improvements – memory on the one hand with 64 GB or 256 GB (probably 17,300 R for the latter), but also the processor and other bits. The included Snapdragon XR2 is an upgrade of the Snapdragon 835 that was used in the original Quest, and there’s more RAM here too. You can expect 6GB in your Quest 2, which puts this headset in the realm of really powerful smartphones. And it shows. There is no real lag in navigating the various virtual areas that you will inevitably download.
What annoyed us about a mite was the change in how you set the focus for the headset. The original Quest had a slider that you can use to adjust your interpupillary distance while wearing the headset. This time the lenses themselves click left or right to achieve the same effect. It’s … a little silly. If you don’t match any of the options that are set, or worse, right between settings, you won’t get the best experience possible. We’re not sure what Facebook thought of doing this feature less well, but for sure. You do you
The included Oculus controllers are also a step backwards. They’re more similar to those found on the Oculus Go – there’s more plastic feel and a little less ruggedness that early Quest users offer. Even so, they are still very convenient to use. If you’ve owned a game controller since the Sony PlayStation first got thumb pins, you’ll find them easy to navigate.
There is also the option to use hand tracking with this headset. What actually works. That is impressive in itself, but more of a curiosity at this point. With the controllers you always get better results. The time will come when your hands are just as accurate, but your hands don’t have multiple input keys right now, right?
In terms of usage, nothing has changed since the last quest. Setting up the Oculus Quest 2 is a breeze. From booting to running, it only takes a few minutes to run (depending on how fast your internet connection is). Once you are used to the control methods, skipping the Facebook tutorial is totally doable, but you shouldn’t skip the explanation of how to set up the Guardian. That is a dedicated game room that keeps you in your virtual world. You mark a section of the floor with the controllers, stand inside and find yourself in a different reality. If you get too close to the limit, you’ll get a holodeck-like grille to warn you. If you walk past it, you will see the grayscale reality. Or crash into a wall. It depends on where you put the barrier, we’ll do the math.
Oculus Quest 2 verdict
The Oculus Quest 2 starts at R13,300, but you should throw in that elite strap and carry case which will bring your cost up to around R20,000. That seems like a lot of money, but you can easily spend that one on a moderate VR-ready desktop PC before hitting the cost of a headset. And if you want to work wirelessly, the headset on this desktop computer is going to break your wallet.
The Oculus Quest 2 improves on the original on a purely technical level, and even if Facebook’s removal of premium features is a little questionable, this is definitely the superior piece of VR hardware. It’s not quite ready for the mainstream just yet, but it’s closer than ever. And if you want to try out some really great examples of VR gaming, then nothing else should be worn but the Quest 2. It’s not quite the future, but it does give you an excellent idea of the potential that it holds.