Welcome to the next generation of all-in-one-VR: the Oculus Quest 2. Facebook’s recent announcement of the Quest 2 makes it seem like the only VR headset you’ll ever need as it comes packed with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon X2 processors, double the resolution, and enough memory to keep you coming back for more. Whether you’re new to virtual reality or currently own a headset, if you’re reading this right now, you’ve probably asked yourself whether buying the Oculus Quest 2 is a good idea.
Oculus Quest 2 Specs
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
- RAM: 6GB
- Resolution: 1832 x 1920 per eye
- Refresh rate: 90 Hz
- Storage: 64GB / 256GB
Let’s Start with the Core Features
Resolution is 50 Times More Than the Original, and Faster
The view and speed in virtual reality have improved, thanks to the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ XR2 Platform. For some, this may be the crowning achievement of the Quest 2. A more powerful Quest 2 lays the foundation for VR’s future and helps us reach new heights we can only imagine (looking at you, Ready Player One).
Reimagined Touch Controllers
Increased efficiency with longer-lasting batteries and crafted with your comfort in mind, the new controllers take your VR experience to the next level.
Smaller and Lighter Headset
With the new headset, you can easily grab it, put it in your backpack, and go. It’s smaller and lighter than the Quest 1, and much smaller than most games consoles and computers today. And if you have to stay at home (thank you, COVID-19), a lighter headset means a more relaxing VR session.
It’s Cheaper Than Its Predecessor
According to Oculus, the Quest 2 is less expensive, at least without add-ons: while the Quest 1 was $399, the Quest 2 costs $299. For many, this is a great deal, and eager customers are jumping for the chance to preorder. A cheaper headset also paves the way for increased VR adoption, as more households can afford to buy the Quest 2.
Shifting to Standalone Headsets
With Rift S sales stopping in 2021, Facebook has decided to work on standalone headsets now and in the future as they end their use of PC‐only hardware. PC users can still utilize the Oculus Link cable to link their headset to their personal computer and access the Rift Platform, however.
Technical and Comfort Issues
Despite the innovation the Quest 2 brings to the table, there are more than a few additional issues. For starters, the material of the new headset is mostly plastic. It’s not like the original Quest, which included fabric and felt more like a solid, quality piece. With the Quest 1, you could also adjust the IPD (interpupillary distance). The Quest 2, however, only has three settings, which takes away the option of finding the sweet spot for a lot of users. I suggest checking out Ars Technica’s review as well, where they point out issues such as lower battery life, problems with controllers, a poorly-designed headstrap, and more.
Add-ons Cancel Out the Savings
If you’re like me, you want to get the most out of your VR headset, but with the Quest 2, that costs extra. First, the $299 price applies to the 64 GB headset; the 256 GB headset costs $399. Both come with a power adapter and charging cable, a pair of touch controllers, a glasses spacer, and two AA batteries. Accessories include the Elite Strap (and its battery pack), Carrying Case, Fit Pack, Link Cable, VR cover Facial Interface and Foam Replacement Set, and more. Depending on your choices during checkout, your receipt total could very well end up being over $600.
Con (But Not Really): Quick Release Schedules
One notable gripe amongst the Quest user base is the relatively rapid release of the Quest 2. For gamers who are used to brands like Xbox and PlayStation who release new consoles every few years, having the first Quest release in May 2019 and the second come out a little over a year later is more than a bit aggravating. This especially applies to users who’ve recently bought a Quest 1, which has now been discontinued.
What buyers need to keep in mind, however, is that the Oculus Quest is the first of its kind. Virtual reality is a new industry, and Oculus is playing a whole different game compared to the gaming console industry, which has been around for decades. Every year, there will be a new headset model and a new processor, similar to smartphones. It’s the cost of innovation: you release a product, you look at what works, ax what doesn’t work, then build a new product based on what you learned.
You Must Sign into Facebook
The new Oculus headset requires users to sign in with their Facebook account. A glance at the comment sections of the Internet will tell you that many consumers are not happy with this decision. Before purchasing the Quest 2, we must ask ourselves whether we trust Facebook to handle our data, as they will have access to more of it than ever before.
So, think before you buy, and ask yourself, is the Oculus Quest 2 the headset I want now?