Overlook PS5 and Xbox Collection X — Oculus Quest 2 is the next-gen system to observe

When Microsoft and Sony finally released specific details on the PS5 and Xbox Series X release dates, it was almost easy to forget about the Oculus Quest 2 featured in a VR race hosted by rivals like HTC, Valve and the current leader was occupied, the gauntlet was laid by Sony.

Quest 2 is slated for release on October 13th and costs $ 100 cheaper than its predecessor. It costs $ 299 for the 64GB version and $ 399 for the 256G version. The technical specifications of the new headset also offer noticeable improvements over the original Quest. The Quest 2 uses Snapdragon’s XR2 CPU, which is specially designed for VR and AR. This should represent a big boost compared to the mobile Snapdragon 835 chip in the original. Upgrades like 6 GB RAM, a higher pixel resolution per eye, a refresh rate of 90 Hz and the adjustment of the interpupillary distance have already impressed critics. However, there are two specific features that should bring the Quest 2 to the forefront of VR hardware.

After an introduction to the original quest last year, Oculus Link is preparing to exit beta sometime this fall. This allows the headset to run Oculus Rift and Steam VR games by connecting it to a VR-enabled PC using a USB-C cable. As such, Quest 2 is limited to games that are fun, like Beat Saber, Superhot, Moss, and even a port of the excellent Tetris effect. With a standard gaming PC for top-notch VR games like Echo Arena, the Quest 2 instantly offers dual use. Half-Life: Alyx, the third highest highest game this year behind Last of Us II according to Metacritic, has a chance to reach a wider audience.

The portability and connectivity to the PC offers a freedom not dissimilar to the hybrid Nintendo Switch console. Oculus also announced that it will phase out the expensive Rift S and all PC-only headsets in 2021, making the Quest 2 its standalone VR product. This makes the Quest 2 in and of itself cheaper than the HTC Cosmos, Valve Index, and Sony’s extremely popular Playstation VR. With VR-enabled PC prices dropping below $ 700, Oculus has made the barrier to entry more accessible than ever.

Killer VR apps

Of course, none of this would matter if Quest 2 didn’t have some spectacular games in the pipeline. While many of the early Quest releases were more oriented towards tech demos or mini-games, Oculus is now tending to release titles that blur the lines between traditional console gaming and VR. It’s one thing that Oculus partners with Ubisoft for new entries in the Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell universes. Another reason is that the French publisher draws resources from Red Storm, Reflections, Ubisoft Düsseldorf and Ubisoft Mumbai to help with development.

Jurassic World: Aftermath hopes to prove Alien: Isolation and Resident Evil 7-inspired survival horror games in VR. With Fortnite, PUBG, and Call of Duty: Warzone all battling for supremacy within the hugely popular battle royale genre, Population: One seems to be making a nice place for itself. For many long-time PC gamers, a VR remake of the legendary point-and-click adventure Myst from 1993 feels magical. Since Medal of Honor: Warfighter Dormant, EA’s famous military first-person shooter returns through Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond for those who can run it on PC via Oculus Link.

(Photo credit: EA)

Coupled with the great existing library from Oculus, these upcoming Quest games sound more exciting than anything released alongside the PS5 and Xbox Series X on day one. Microsoft, delaying Halo Infinite until 2021, has made the house that Windows built more geared towards intergenerational support and Game Pass for Xbox Series X. In the meantime, PS5 exclusives like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Horizon: Forbidden West are also coming to PS4 somewhat limiting the urgency of an upgrade for some.

As of now, Microsoft hasn’t officially entered the VR space outside of its Xbox One streaming app for Rift. Since its release in 2016, PlayStation VR could be considered a leader in the field with five million copies sold. Being backwards compatible with the upcoming PS5 means having an extensive library available to start with. While some phenomenal PSVR exclusives have been released, including Farpoint and Iron Man VR, the platform hasn’t delivered anything that can really compete with the PC. Perhaps that will change when the updated successor hits the PS5 at some point.

Beyond playing the next generation

(Image credit: Oculus)

Beyond gaming, Quest 2’s Infinite Office seems to be the future of the home office. This feature allows users to use the Oculus Browser to work across multiple customizable screens and view live feeds of the surroundings from the built-in cameras.

Through a partnership with Logitech, certain keyboards are recognized and rendered for easy entry. If Google Chrome becomes compatible outside of VR browsing, Quest 2 could be a real game changer.

Oculus’ strategy for the future of VR may not create a steadfast hype train like Microsoft and Sony do. Regardless, the Quest 2 could have positioned itself as the next-gen device to launch this year thanks to unique, immersive experiences and a price tag that can beat new consoles by as much as $ 200.

Today’s Best Oculus Quest 2 Deals

Oculus Quest 2 – Advanced …

Oculus Quest 2 – Advanced …

Oculus Quest 2 – Advanced …

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