Headset that everyone was waiting for?
The appearance of the Oculus Rift in 2016 marked a turning point in the video game industry, offering a new entertainment environment that opened the doors to exciting virtual worlds with the possibility of physical interaction. But, as you know, the restrictions did not allow us to achieve the success that the supporters of virtual reality had hoped for. To remedy the situation, Oculus released Oculus Go last year, and in 2019 it was Oculus Quest, where the autonomous experience of interacting with the device should become even better.
The appearance of the Oculus Quest corresponds to a high-quality device, made by all the canons of high technology. The cost of the device is $ 399 / £ 399. It harmoniously combines fabric and plastic elements, so the headset does not look like one big unpleasant piece of black plastic. The same applies to other components, starting from the box, ending with controllers, including the installation process itself, which goes smoothly and smoothly, which is just expected from this price category (which is important for new VR users, but more on that later).
The company wants Quest to be much more attractive than all the models that were previously. Now it is aimed at helping to remove the barriers that have restrained the industry. We can say that the binding of a computer to your face is the main blocker, but this can be attributed to the lack of experience of interaction with previous versions of VR-helmets as such.
The two main characteristics of a headset are, of course, the all-in-one system and external tracking. In short, Oculus Quest is easy to use. You do not need a PC or sensors that will need to be located around the gaming space. All that is required is a space free from any clutter to enjoy the game of virtual reality; order 2x2m is great for scaling a room. Also available is a stationary option when you just want to sit or stand in one place.
Oculus Quest cannot be configured without a built-in application, but the process itself looks pretty painless, especially if you already have an Oculus device. After connecting via Wi-Fi, you need to configure the Guardian system to avoid collisions with the nearest walls, and the setting itself has been improved compared to the previous iteration of Oculus Rift. Instead of actually walking around the gaming zone, Oculus Quest cameras provide an end-to-end black and white image, so you can use a pointer to mark an area with Oculus Touch controllers.
These lenses also provide very important external tracking (Oculus Insight). It was one of the most important functions for a new ecosystem, and one can confidently say that the company did an excellent job. This does not negate the fact that caution with the lenses will not be superfluous especially when it comes to touching with greasy fingers (in particular when turning the headset on and off). The lenses manage to track a very wide area and at a decent speed. And this is a full tracking of 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF), which makes Oculus Go 3DoF obsolete.
If you have ever used an Oculus Rift, then you will find that the Oculus Quest is a little harder because it contains all the computing resources and the battery. However, if all the straps are configured correctly, the additional weight (571 g) will not cause discomfort even during long gaming sessions. However, battery life brings some inconvenience. The actual duration of the work can vary, since it depends on the specific running process – for gaming sessions you can count on a little more than two hours, and on 3 hours, if you run other media content, such as movies, etc. The USB-C charging cable is quite long, but what’s the point of using a cable wireless headset? However, full charge does not take much time to charge the device from 5% to 100% it took 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Now about the visual effects. Immersion in VR has become better, as well as screens with lenses, which received a significant upgrade. Thanks to the OLED-display with a resolution of 1440 × 1600 per eye (for comparison, the Oculus Rift was 1080 × 1200 per eye), the effect of screendoor was significantly reduced (but not completely eliminated). The clarity is excellent for the headset in this price range, and the manual adjustment of the IPD makes fine-tuning the visual effects a trifle.
From the improved Oculus Go menu system to video games, the colors will be crisp and vibrant, taking for example titles like Beat Saber and Dance Central. Even when operating at 72 Hz on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, there are no horrendous delays due to which VR players can rock.
Visual effects are only part of the entire virtual reality experience. Audio also plays a vital role in creating an emotional response. Oculus used the same sound technology for Quest, directing the sound down the headband. It works great and gives you the opportunity to hear from where they shot or where your teammates are. The optimal solution has a disadvantage – any external noise can be heard, and this can distract and interfere with full immersion. It is always recommended to use headphones of a decent class with a 3.5 mm jack, if you are, of course, not against loose wires.
Oculus Quest is a living example of how a decent contribution based on past experience can make a headset good, and redesigned controllers only complement it. They are lighter than the previous model, and the most obvious difference is the tracking ring, which now passes over and not under the controller. The controllers themselves are as easy to use as before. The arrangement of buttons, sticks and straps for active games remained unchanged, and you can perform the same presses as before.
The only real problem that was discovered is the battery cover. Its coverage area has become much larger than the previous model. On the one hand, this makes it easy to replace the AA battery, but on the other hand, when active games like Creed: Rise to Glory and Sports Scramble are running, the lid may open. These are all the same two magnets inside to hold the cover, but they have become weaker and this makes the design more flimsy.
On May 21, Oculus introduced more than 50 game titles for Quest, including such titles as Journey of the Gods, Thumper, Racket Fury, Beat Saber, Dance Central, Ballista, Apex Construct, Wander, Bait !, Rush, Dead and Buried II , Virtual Virtual Reality, Space Pirate Trainer and others.
Before trying out new ones, such as Ballista and Journey of the Gods, it is worth raising the question of the games already released. Will the same Apex Construct and Creed: Rise to Glory work on a portable platform? Now we can already say with certainty that for the most part yes. One should be afraid of the work of the tracking system rather than worry about the quality of the picture. Yes, the visual quality falls, but far from what one would expect – all studios do an excellent job with the task of transferring these video games to Oculus Quest.
Tracking tries to give the maximum result, but in the same Apex Construct, if you put your hands too low (at waist level), it will jump around the screen and return to the desired position only when the hands are at a sufficient height to track the controllers. The same problem exists in Creed : Rise to Glory, in the case of the boxing simulator, the hands, on the contrary, were right in front of the headset between all sensors. However, the tracking system did not keep up with the flow of hits, but it is unclear whether this is a bug of Oculus Insight or a specific software. For comparison, Beat Saber, which is known for its fast-paced gameplay, has never knocked over tracking, and not a single blow was missed even on Expert difficulty.
Does this mean that Oculus Quest changes the rules of the game in the virtual reality market? Well, yes and no. The all-in-one design is perfect for attracting new audiences. The ability to take a device that can be all the same, with almost the same quality of previous Oculus models, can simply turn the scale in favor of the company. However, for those who already own the Rift, Quest does not quite fit. The number of cross-platform titles is growing, which will appear in the library of Oculus, so everything that you miss in the presence of the previous model is just an external tracking technology.
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