Oculus Quest 2 brings the perfect VR bang in your real-world buck | Latitude 65
W.When it comes to experiencing virtual reality, I am extremely lucky.
It all started with a nerdy brother who gave me an HTC Vive when it hit the market in spring 2016 as one of the very first consumer headsets. At a staggering price point of $ 800, the headset – and the amazing limit of virtual front reality – would have stayed on the shelf.
Since then, and a few career changes later, I’ve had the opportunity to try many virtual reality headsets, from the PlayStation VR headset (which is surprisingly competent) to the Mega Deluxe Valve Index (which is even more difficult to use) $ 1000 endure, but at least it’s business expenses … I tell myself). It’s hard to deny that with a great screen, immersive field of view, and some excellent controllers, the Valve Index is the current pinnacle of virtual reality. The barrier to entry doesn’t stop at price, however, as it requires a PC on the beefier end of things to pump out the pixels and a little bit of DIY to securely mount the tracking stations on the walls of your device.
While the Valve Index is the best way to experience virtual reality, I would only recommend it to the most dedicated tech geek.
Instead, enter the Oculus Quest 2, a standalone headset that doesn’t require a PC, drywall screws, your own space, or even a lot of tortured financial justification. At a starting price of $ 300 ($ 400 for more on-board storage), the Oculus Quest 2 offers a lot in an easy-to-use package that doesn’t require any knowledge of the specifics of graphics cards.
From a hardware point of view, the Oculus Quest 2 is almost a masterpiece that stands on the shoulders of all headsets in front of it. The Oculus Quest 2 has a big, clear picture, its controllers are light and responsive, and its inside-out tracking is amazingly good. And frankly, the lack of a thick cable running from the back of the headset to your computer (a requirement even with the Valve Index) is a big game changer. Instead of getting tangled with the cables, you can move around freely.
In terms of performance, the Oculus Quest 2 won’t be able to compete with a PC-controlled headset anytime soon, as its graphics appear to be anywhere from a very fast smartphone to a mid-range gaming console. While the difference can be noticeable in some games (as well as the fact that not all VR games are available on them), it gets the job done with a lot of time in the games you will be spending most of your time in anyway: “Beat Saber”, “Superhot” and other arcade-y games. For me, high-fidelity graphics have never been as much of VR’s selling point as the quality tracking, which allows you to interact directly with the games.
However, when you’re ready to fiddle around with cables with the Oculus Link cable ($ 79), you can plug the headset into your PC to play. If you have the brand new WiFi router, you can also try their wireless streaming and enjoy the best of all worlds.
The biggest downside to Oculus Quest 2 and the entire Oculus ecosystem is that it ultimately relies on Facebook, which owns Oculus. You need to have a good Facebook account (as locking your Facebook account could exclude you from your purchases) and limit the games to what Facebook’s blessings are. And I have to admit, that’s a pretty big downside, but that’s where all of the Star Wars virtual reality games are.
But if you can stay ahead of the curve at the Facebook ness of it all, then there’s no better way to bring virtual reality home.
Matt Buxton is a freelance writer and gamer. He can be reached at email@example.com.