VR technology hasn’t caught on like wildfire. It comes with heavy costs and clunky hardware requirements. Only a core group of tech heads have really invested in it. But if you’ve been drooling to try VR that’s consumer-friendly, then Facebook’s Oculus VR has the solution for you.
Facebook’s F8 developer conference on Tuesday revealed the most significant innovation we’ve seen in VR hardware since the tech first hit the consumer market: the Oculus Quest, a new VR headset with no baggage. The Oculus Quest operates wire-free. It needs no gaming PC or console to work. And the best news is that it has a cheaper price tag: $ 399. While 400 bucks may still put a dent in your wallet, it’s in line with other headsets—and those headsets all require additional hardware. The Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR fall between $ 250 and $ 1,000, but on top of that, they require either a gaming computer or a PlayStation 4, upping the price tag dramatically and only appealing to groups that most likely have already invested heavily in gaming.
Beyond the price point, the Quest dodges the issue that has made other VR headsets tough to use by going completely wireless. Not only does getting tangled in a wire take you out of your gaming, but it also causes some moments worthy of America’s Funniest Home Video with breaking screens, eating shit, and the works. For new VR fans and players who already own a headset alike, this is arguably one of the Oculus Quest’s best innovations.
The Quest houses a pretty powerful computer in its headset, allowing for easy set-up: no plugs, no connections, just VR. The tech promises to learn your common playing space, so it won’t force you to climb over couches and tables. Utilizing wide-angle cameras attached to the headset, a play area can be drawn with the pointers as opposed to having to walk and calibrate, further emphasizing easy set-up. And while the Quest is self-contained, VR is always better with friends. Oculus brilliantly added features to cast gameplay through Google Chromecast and Nvidia Shield TV, so the games can be enjoyed as a group.
The Quest comes in two versions, a 64GB model for $ 399 and a 128GB model for $ 499. The package includes the wireless Quest headset along with two of the Oculus’s beautifully designed touch controllers. As for the games, hits like Superhot VR, Creed: Rise to Glory, and Beat Saber will all be available with at least 50 other titles, the highly anticipated Star Wars VR game Vader Immortal among them. Any previous purchases made from the Oculus store are transferable, so you won’t have to buy the same game twice. While it doesn’t appear that the Quest will come with any full games preloaded, it will come with demos of Beat Saber, Creed, and a few new titles so you can try before you buy.
Oculus also put an emphasis on portability, stating you can travel and vacation with the Quest. The site even includes a sleek travel case. This is a huge differentiator from current headsets, which are impossible to take on the go, what with all the additional hardware.
The Verge got its hands on the Quest and gave some valuable insight into how exactly it works. In theory, it has around two hours of battery life while playing games, which may sounds short, but VR is usually better consumed in short bursts. While no exact specs are out about the resolution, the Verge says it is better than the Oculus Rift from 2016, but still grainy. This is an issue we’ve seen in the VR world, so I’m sure grainy picture won’t come as a huge surprise. There also appears to be some issue with controllers disconnecting, but less so than previous experiences.
VR games have always had smaller price tags, ranging between $ 10 and $ 40, whereas console games typically fall around $ 40 to $ 60. That, coupled with the headset’s cheaper price tag and more accessible hardware, makes the Oculus Quest the ideal choice for anyone who’s been dying to dip their feet into the VR world.