Six months with the Oculus Quest

I’ve owned my Oculus Quest 2 for around 6 months. Long enough to test its capabilities properly. Here’s my thoughts.

My only previous experience with VR is with the PSVR, which was… underwhelming. It was heavy, low resolution, had a crazy tethering cable and suffered from the low-power of the decade-old PS4 that was powering it.

The Quest 2 is standalone - no PC required. It’s basically a powerful android device, with a high-quality screen (2k per eye), fresnel lenses and infra-red tracking. And it’s £300 - which is a steal when compared to any other consumer VR product. How good could it be? Surprisingly, very good indeed.

PC gamers gamers won’t be impressed by the graphics. Even so, games like The Climb, Beat Saber & SUPERHOT are a lot of fun, and there is enough content in VR ‘experiences’ to keep non-gamers entertained.

It’s also a great way to watch your own media. The Quest will happily play 4k video from my NAS over Wi-Fi. Find a comfy chair, launch BigScreenVR or Skybox and you’re transported to your own personal movie theatre with a thirty-foot screen and surround sound. You can even watch 3D video on the cinema screen.

Watching In the Shadow of the Moon

The tracking works well, and you can use your hands in good lighting conditions. Everything seems to fall apart in the dark through. My favourite feature is the Guardian, which invites you to draw out a play area and warns if you stray too close to the edge by fading in a star-trek style holographic wall. It’s very cool and means that I can move freely around my room without worrying about knocking the telly over.

I have only a couple of criticisms. First, you need a Facebook account to activate the device. Second, and this is more a criticism of the technology itself rather than of the Quest specifically, the sweet spot (the area that is in focus) of the fresnel lenses is tiny. This means that you need to move your head to look around rather than move your eyes. You get used to it, but it can be irritating. Lastly, you’re always going to look like a complete dork when wearing the headset.

It’s interesting technology, and now enough to take a punt on.