Gaming

Oculus Quest (Review)

A week or so ago my Oculus Quest arrived. Sufficed to say being a VR tragic, I was very excited to see it delivered.

In Australia, the Quest is available via Amazon, eBay and Oculus online stores. I ended up picking up the 128Gb version to future proof and allow a greater library to be simultaneously installed.

The first thing that grabbed me was how small the box was when it arrived. Taking the headset out – if you are use to the size of the PSVR, it is quite a bit smaller and compact. The weight is roughly the same as the PSVR, but most of it is found at the front, due to the all the power being self contained.

The sense of scale is great in Vadar Immortal. When you first pick up that virtual lightsaber – yep, it feels awesome.

No doubt for anyone who is curious to see what the Oculus Quest can do, you’ve all had a read already on the net. I concur that it is absolutely amazing how Oculus has managed to get a mobile snapdragon 835 powering these VR games. The resolution of the lenses is also immediately noticeable and much improved over the stalwart PSVR. The screen door effect is much less pronounced and watching movies on Netflix or via your DLNA server is a much better looking experience.

Out of the box you get two motion controllers (every similar to the Rift’s controllers but the moulded plastic sits above your hands), a decent length USB C cable (3 metres or so), power adaptor, the headset and a glasses spacer.

Moss – an amazing game available on the Quest. Beautiful action platformer with a great story.

Setting up is actually surprisingly easy. You just download the Oculus app on your phone and select the Quest from the list of headsets. It shows you a code on the headset to pair to your phone, and then you are up and running. The headset comes with 5 demos, including Beat Saber, which is nice if you haven’t had a chance to buy any games. Buying games can be done via the Store on the headset, your PC via the web, or the phone. Just make sure you select the Quest version of the Oculus Store to ensure you are buying games and apps that are supported by the Quest.

At launch (21st May) there were around 50 games available. I’ve already noted a month later that at least half a dozen more games have been released. According to Oculus, there will be over 100 games and experiences available by the end of the year.

So how do the games look? Well pretty damn good actually. Playing un-tethered from any supporting device, like a PC or PS4, is amazing. You can create multiple play spaces by drawing an virtual line around to mark your safe area (the Guardian system). This is very well implemented, and you’ll see a grid appear and turn red when you are breaching the virtual space. I drew out a virtual play space in my garage to play some of the games and the room tracking works extremely well. I played Vadar Immortal (a must have for any Star Wars fan) and Creed: Rise to Glory and was walking around in a virtual space.

This is amazing, and for those that are sensitive to motion sickness – it may help a little when you are walking around for real. The Quest reportedly supports 25 feet x 25 feet for room scale tracking. I haven’t found a place in my house that big, but it certainly managed 20 feet x 10 feet no problem.

I certainly didn’t notice any noticeable difference between the 72hz refresh rate of the Quest, compared with the 90hz (or higher) for the PSVR. Moving around in a virtual boxing ring is very cool indeed. The games also look really good, and in some cases I found the resolution better on some of the Quest games. Moss on the Quest looks great, and even though you probably lose a couple of high end processing effects the higher resolution seems to make up for it.

This is a must have application for the Quest – Virtual Desktop.

One app you simply have to buy for the Quest is Virtual Desktop. This is an absolutely stunning application that streams your desktop to the quest. I’ve been playing around with this app quite a bit and it simply breathes life into old games when you play on a big virtual screen.

I’m going to be writing a bit more about other great features about the Quest and the games and apps, but suffice to say being completely free of wires is amazing. The straps take a bit of getting use to in order to help the headset sit comfortably on your face, but after that it is all systems go. This really is what should open up VR to a wider audience. The accessibility is amazing.

Please feel free to ask questions below, and I’ll be sure to answer them.

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