I really wanted VR to take off. I’ve written about it often on this blog, and still believe the technology is going somewhere. But it’s also taking an extremely slow path, and consumers generally haven’t latched on.
The main reason VR hasn’t taken off comes down to one word: inconvenience. Most headsets are too heavy, the technology can give you headaches, the cost is too high, the resolution isn’t high enough, etc. And then there is the setup, which –at least with the HTC Vive — requires you to place position trackers throughout a room.
The Oculus Quest is exciting because it aims to solve some of the inconvenience. It’s a relatively light headset (compared to others) that has inside tracking, so you can move in the virtual reality environment without having to set up outside trackers. The screen resolution has increased, although the screen door effect is still there.
The Oculus Quest is going to be released on May 21. I haven’t received a review unit yet (Come on, Facebook, send me one!), but there are plenty of other reviews available. And they are actually pretty good.
“All the immersion with none of the wires or setup. Quick and easy setup, with rock-solid tracking. This is the VR you’ve been waiting for.”
The review adds that one of the only downsides is that the wireless headset’s battery only lasts three hours on a single charge. Unfortunately, there are others who say that the it lasts less than three hours.
Scott Stein of CNET claims that the Oculus Quest is the best thing he’s tried this year.
“The Oculus Quest magically creates really immersive VR on a standalone headset with fantastic controls and full positional tracking. It requires no phone, PC or game console, and costs $400, which isn’t bad. Passthrough cameras allow easy setup of the play area, and a way to check your surroundings without taking off the headset.”
The four-star review also notes that not only are there a limited amount of apps available for launch, but that it’s mobile operating system somewhat limits the experience.
For those looking for a more powerful new VR experience, there is the Oculus Rift S, but that requires a connection to a powerful gaming PC. Still, it’s obvious that Oculus is making its biggest push yet to mainstream VR. Let’s hope they finally succeed.