- Facebook presented its new VR set - Oculus Quest 2;
- Oculus Quest 2 can now be pre-ordered, and the launch is scheduled for October 13;
- it is lighter, faster and more comfortable, first reviews are already appearing, and prices are known.
Yesterday, Facebook officially presented its new VR set. Oculus Quest 2, as the new device is called, is faster, lighter and more comfortable than its predecessor. The new device will go on sale on October 13. Those willing can already place pre-orders, as well as get acquainted with a number of newly announced games, prepared for the platform.
Oculus Quest 2 is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 CPU, much stronger than Snapdragon 835 used by its predecessor. The amount of RAM was also increased from 4 GB to 6 GB. This time the screens were manufactured in LCD technology (Quest had OLEDs) and have twice as many pixels - 1832x1920 pixels per eye. On the day of launch their refresh rate will be 72 Hz. This is not a thrilling result, as competing devices offer 90 Hz (Valve Index even 144 Hz). However, the manufacturer ensures that the device is compatible with 90 Hz mode and it will be unlocked in a software update.
The important thing with VR sets is the weight of the headpiece. In the case of Quest 2 this parameter was improved. The predecessor weighed 573 g, and the new device weighs "only" 503 g. The way Oculus is attached to the head was also changed (the band was made of elastic fabric). Together with the lower weight it will significantly improve the comfort of use. For the supporters of the solution used by the predecessor, an optional accessory has been prepared, available for purchase. Using a customized clasp, an additional battery tray can be attached to the back of the device to double the operating time.
Speaking of batteries, it is worth adding that the main device has a battery, which should provide 2 - 3 hours of fun. The controllers are powered by AA type batteries, one per device. Here a lot depends on the battery (or NiMH battery) used. Oculus Quest 2 enables us to adjust the lenses to our eye distance. However, this is not smooth, there are three settings available - 58, 63 or 68 mm.
The VR set will be available in two versions, differing in the volume of built-in memory. The first one, with 64 GB on board, will cost EUR 349. The second edition with 256 GB will cost €449. Although the product is not yet officially available, there are reviews of parties that have already had a hands-on with the device. Here are some selections:
Selected reviews of Oculus Quest 2
Review on Engadget
The review by Devindra Hardawar focuses on the experience of first-time boot up and playing a game on Oculus and PC, as it can also serve as a peripheral when connected by cable. He noticed that the same game running on the VR set looks a bit worse, the textures are less clear and the levels have less detail. This is due to some hardware limitations of the mobile platform that is Quest 2.
It is inconvenient to link hardware to our Facebook profile. In a sense, this could be expected from a device branded by Mark Zuckerberg website. However, for people who do not have an account on the website and have bought Oculus Quest 2 (because e.g. a colleague recommended it), the sudden necessity of online socialization in blue may seem like nonsense.
The author of the review praises the device for its lighter weight and better attachments. It is more comfortable in comparison to its predecessor, although adjusting the straps is not very intuitive and sometimes requires removing Oculus from the head. Quest 2 heats up a little during long sessions, but not to an extent that causes discomfort. The controllers are lightweight, well-made, and their design is reminiscent of that of Oculus Rift.
"The Oculus Quest 2 improves on the original in every way: It has sharper screens, a more comfortable fit and it’s far more powerful. It’s a superior standalone VR headset, but it’s also good enough to compete with more expensive competitors when connected to a gaming PC. It’s truly the most flexible VR headset on the market."
Review on Wired
The author of the review on Wired also notes, above all, greater comfort of use, thanks to the lower weight and more flexible straps. The small downside is that the device can slide down the nose over time. However, this phenomenon is rare and it is eliminated by proper adjustment of the attachment. Oculus Quest 2 can be operated without controllers, detects the position of the hands, but as a reviewer writes:
"It's more of a proof of concept than a practical feature. There aren’t many games or experiences that support hand tracking, so you’re mostly limited to navigating the Quest 2’s menus. But even something as simple as swiping through the Oculus Store with nothing but your hands is a really cool experience that makes me excited for the future of this technology."
"Unfortunately, the Oculus Quest 2 also requires a Facebook account. (...) Otherwise you will no longer be able to use an Oculus account to sign into the Oculus Store or set up your Quest 2. (...) and it’s the biggest drawback of the Quest 2."
"The Quest 2 is a stellar piece of hardware, peerless in the VR space, but make sure you’re making an informed purchase. I recommend you read up on Facebook’s more-recent controversies, especially how the company handles (and has mishandled) user data, before taking the plunge."