23.05.2019, by Imke van der Sanden
This month, Facebook company Oculus released a new virtual reality (VR) gaming headset: The Oculus Quest. Many have claimed that this specific VR headset could be what saves virtual reality. What makes this wireless headset so special is the fact that it is the first VR gaming headset of Oculus that works without the use of a PC. The Oculus Quest allows it user to put on the standalone headset, hold the controllers and jump in a complex virtual world, wherever they want, whenever they want.
The Oculus Quest
The Oculus Quest comes from the same makers as one of the most popular VR headsets in this world, the Oculus Rift. The Oculus Quest, also known as the all-in-one gaming headset, offers a high-end VR experience in a mobile package. The headset looks similar to that of the Oculus Rift, but the biggest difference is that with the Oculus Quest, there are no distracting wires attached to the headset. As a standalone headset, the Oculus Quest reminds us most of the entry-level VR headset the Oculus Go. The Oculus Go is a budget-friendly headset that’s best used for watching videos, while the Oculus Quest is more suitable for actual gaming. Want to know more about the differences and similarities between the Oculus Quest and the Oculus Go? Android Central has done an extensive comparison article about Oculus’ two standalone headsets.
How Does it Work?
So, if the Oculus Quest is not connected to a PC, how does it operate? In order to play any games on Oculus’ new headset, the user is required to have an iPhone or Android™ mobile phone and the free downloadable Oculus App. Another difference is that the Oculus Quest provides full freedom of movement, without having to install external trackers. The headset has four wide-angle cameras built in that track the user’s movements and the room, and features a virtual boundary system to help prevent users from bumping into obstacles. The Oculus Quest features six degrees of freedom (6DoF) meaning it can track your movements up, down, left, right, forwards, and backwards. The Oculus Touch Controllers track hand gestures and translates these into VR with intuitive and realistic precision, making the controllers an extension of the user’s hand, enabling precise interaction in the game. The standalone headset has a built-in audio system that delivers 3D sound.
The Salvation of VR?
In 2012, the groundbreaking Oculus Rift, evoked a wave of VR enthusiasm. However it is now 2019, and VR’s acquaintance with the general public is still waiting to take off. The Oculus Quest is supposed to change the mainstream appeal towards VR. The consumer headset may not allow for at the same levels of immersion as desktop virtual reality yet, but the standalone headset has been received very well at its press release. Different media outlets even spoke of the Quest as “a salvation for VR”, seeing that the headset is so easy to use, especially in comparison with previous and more advanced VR headsets. And perhaps that’s where its strengths lie. The Oculus Quest may not be the ideal VR headset for high demanding games, but it is a perfectly good headset for the beginning VR player that would like to take their headset with them, and perhaps even introduce others to the magical world of VR.
Want to know more about the pros and cons of the Oculus Quest? Check out this detailed review by Engadget. The Oculus Quest has been on the market and available for purchase since the 21st of May, 2019, and starts at a selling price of €449.