Oculus Quest review: can this save VR?


– When I reviewed Facebook’s
Oculus Rift in 2016, I thought it might be the
start of something huge. But VR hasn’t blown up the
way a lot of fans hoped. SuperData estimated that
around 354,000 Rifts shipped in 2018 and around 4.2
million headsets shipped across all the major brands. For contrast, Sony alone shipped more than 17 million
PlayStation 4s that year. VR had a long history in
training, medicine, design, and research before the Oculus Rift and it’s still big in those fields. But home entertainment is another matter. A lot of VR headsets are still expensive or they’re not very comfortable or they’re just sort
of weird and isolating. But Facebook, of course,
thinks it has the answer with the Oculus Quest,
a completely standalone VR system that doesn’t need wires, tracking cameras, or a separate computer and can play full-fledged immersive games. The Quest is basically Facebook’s vision of an ideal VR gaming console right now. It solved some of the problems that have kept VR on the margins, but it’s also a compromise. (relaxed music) The Oculus Quest’s first big selling point is something called the Insight system. It uses four built-in cameras
to track your head motion, and a pair of hand controllers
instead of making you set up a whole VR room
with mounted cameras. But there’s a new a Oculus
Rift that uses Insight, too. So the Quest’s big unique selling point is that it’s self-contained. The Quest isn’t connected to a computer and you can use it
basically anywhere indoors, as long as you’re not
completely in the dark. Oculus thinks this makes a
huge difference, and I agree. I’ve been using VR for a long time and I’ve gotten used to
stepping around wires. But not having to worry about tripping while I’m jumping around a sports game or pausing an adventure
game to face the cameras feels even better than I thought it would. The battery lasts around two
hours playing games nonstop, which is longer than
most of my VR sessions. Oculus already has an all-in-one headset called the Oculus Go. But it doesn’t have the
Quest’s sophisticated tracking and it’s meant more for
watching movies in VR, which people keep telling me they like, but I still just can’t get into. The Quest supports some of the best games for just moving your body,
like the rock climbing game, The Climb; the awesome
rhythm game, Beat Saber, which is like Dance Dance
Revolution with lightsabers; and a new VR version of the
Kinect game, Dance Central. There were a lot of questions about whether the Quest’s
tracking and latency would work as well as the Rift. After all, you need to
keep your controllers in view of the Quest’s wide-angle cameras and you don’t have a powerful
gaming PC to run the games. But my experience has been good so far. The Quest has been
responsive and precise enough to play a fast-moving
game like Beat Saber. My controllers have occasionally
lost tracking for a moment, but that also happened with the
Rift’s old external cameras. A lot of companies have either released or announced self-contained headsets. But in our experience, they’re
rough around the edges. They’re mostly geared toward businesses where people don’t always
need to have fun using them. If you are using VR for fun,
you want a seamless experience and that’s what Oculus is
trying to deliver here. It’s simplified things
that used to be annoying. You can just draw a line to set up virtual boundaries, for instance, instead of physically
walking around the room. Like the Oculus Go, once the setup’s done, you can pretty much just
pick it up and start playing. But unfortunately, the Quest
still has some problems that basically no VR company has cracked. The screen is higher-resolution
than the Rift, but it’s still a little grainy. There’s a whole computer and
four cameras in the headset, so it weights substantially
more than the Rift. If I don’t adjust it just right, my head starts hurting very quickly. And look, I’ve used VR a
lot, but I still feel silly and socially awkward wearing the Quest. Oculus has tried to make the experience more natural by adding a casting feature, so people can see what you’re seeing through a Chromecast or NVIDIA Shield. That doesn’t change the fact
that you’re jumping around a room with something
strapped to your face so you can’t see other people. I’m not sure anything can change that. And it’s still a legitimate barrier. Another problem is that
Oculus is owned by Facebook, which is constantly accused
of invading users’ privacy. Oculus says it’s got a
strong privacy policy, but VR is, by definition,
tracking your every move. And people might be rightfully hesitant to give that data up. Maybe it doesn’t matter if
the content’s good enough. The Quest is launching
with about 50 titles and it’s bringing over some
of the Rift’s greatest hits. But it doesn’t include
some of the Rift’s biggest, most gorgeous upcoming games. It’s still got the computing
power of a mobile headset and if you want to guarantee
that you’ll get all the latest and best VR experiences,
it still seems like the Rift is your only option. Oculus seems to be betting
that a lot of people will be happy with a convenient,
lower-powered headset that plays a smaller
number of smaller games. That’s a bet that, honestly, very few companies are making right now. HTC and Microsoft are mostly focused on selling to businesses,
and Google hasn’t said much about its Daydream platform lately. Nintendo just released a very cool VR headset kit for the Switch, but it’s more of a clever toy
than a whole new platform. Sony is the one company that’s making the same play as Oculus. It’s pushed out a lot of
games for the PlayStation VR, which isn’t the most
powerful tethered headset, but is the most successful. It sold more than 4
million units since 2016. Oculus could tap into that market with something that’s
even more convenient. And at $399, the Quest doesn’t cost too much more than the PlayStation VR. I like using the Quest. And I think it’s a good
compromise headset for people who want several of the
best VR games on the market that aren’t worried about
missing some titles. But I’m not sure it’s overcome some of VR’s basic clunkiness
and social awkwardness, and that makes it hard to see as the next big gaming platform. So what’s the non-VR game that you really, really want to play in VR? For me, it’s the fighting game, Zeno Clash, because that game’s incredibly weird and I love punching things in VR. But let me know what you think.

100 thoughts on “Oculus Quest review: can this save VR?

  • If you ask me.

    The quest is Oculus saying “Heres our first commercial untethered headset, expect more power in the future but this is all we can muster for this price.”

    Ain’t a bad thing though 😀

  • You know what's socially awkward: staring at screens on your phone with headphones on and ignoring everyone;
    Yet no one is saying that it is a barier to the mobile market;

  • The only thing socially awkward about VR is people who think it is, or make it socially awkward, like this reviewer. Nobody I've met or played with has had an issue with it.

    Also, VR doesn't need "saving". It's doing perfectly fine and improving every year, and has been since the original launch of the Vive and Rift.

  • If you lost tracking with your old CV1 sensors then you did it wrong or operated outside of its technical limitations – i.e., no 3 sensor set up

  • AR / VR Hybrid headsets will replace VR. Like imagine you see everything transparently and things hovering AR then when u load a game it makes everything that world and u cant see the room anymore

  • I bet if it had a fruit logo on the side the verge would be shouting how good it is off the top of a mountain

  • Your review is basically on the product standalone, you didn't explained what it can potentially do or you just don't know. Which in this case Oculus quest and go will be able to offer more at a long run despite it being "heavy" on your head. Oh and stop bragging about how much you used VR.

  • Honestly her 'negatives points' are the dumbest two things I could possibly imagine anyone saying. And I think she is actually being serious.

    1)You look socially awkward wearing a vr headset.

    2) Facebook is known for violating users privacy, and Facebook is now literally tracking your every move.

    And also didn't she contradict herself when she said only 4 million vr headsets were sold and then later she said PSRVR sold 4 million?

    This is professional journalism? Well, at least she offhandedly mentioned that she was uncomfortable unless she adjusted it just right, although that should warrant more than an offhanded sentence, meanwhile she spent minutes ranting about nonsensical issues. As if Facebook has an interest in my body movements when playing a game LOL.

    I do agree that most people hate VR, often when people come over I can't even convince them to try it even by begging, usually they just are 'content' to watch me play. So I admit VR is in trouble, given this, seems it won't even be a majority supported thing unless they can figure out why people who come over to my house don't even want to TRY it. So weird…..

  • Wtf do you mean “save VR”. it never died it just needed time to evolve like calm down, just because it isn’t ready and completely perfect on the day of the release doesn’t mean it’s dead. Ffs

  • Since when did “social awkwardness” matter when playing vr, your an adult in your house. I dont think people would be seeing you playing vr unless you invited them into your house, which shouldn’t matter because you arent going to let complete strangers in your house.

  • Socially awkward? SoCiAl AwKwArDnEsS?!?!?? Anyone who sees you playing a vr game, will want to play too. They won’t even think about how you look… No hate, I just think that shouldn’t be a barrier for people not to at least try vr.

  • You are not reviewing Oculus Quest in this video. You are reviewing the total VR gaming. And saying a lot of unresolvable problems.
    We wanna know about Oculus Quest, not the whole VR industry.

  • i will not only buy it for gaming. VR is combining a lot of things…. i will play Games, watch (3D) Movies and my own 3D and 360 Photos and Videos, i will meet friends in virtual chatrooms and visit virtual Places on Google Maps. VR is an interactive access to the virtual world and medias ..gaming is only one part of that.

  • I feel like you don't really know what you're talking about or are just a half wit. Sorry but, that's probably why you have almost 1k down votes to 3k up votes. The up voters are idiots imo.

    Party on Wayne…

  • are you a biker? what’s up with the clown looks? what’s with the background? why are you talking about things you don’t understand? sooo many questions

  • The Verge need to get their act together, this review is so salty and completely missing the point of Quest. I got my Quest yesterday, and it is an genuine marvel of innovation. Fantastic immersive game play, decent comfort, good battery life, chargeable while using, super easy to use and setup, super portable, great display and optics, amazing graphics considering its using such an relatively slow 835 SoC, most launch titles offer a good to great VR experience, and offer cross buy for Rift users. Also, hardly any bugs, tracking just works and is good enough (not perfect). The thing they completely missed in the conclusion is the sound quality of the inbuild speakers: immersion killing, way too low on volume and no bass. Luckily that is easily fixed with an decent headphone. Congrats to the Oculus team, they deserve way more credits for such a polished and complete release. Apple would have wished that the first Iphone was this good on launch day!

  • Funny….SONY is the console king, video games king and now also the VR KING 👑……LMFAO 😎

  • Oculus Quest is a nice social personal VR device. But will save VR? really? VR is now not mainstream… its off the hypescape. Things are moving forward… but man is this device not secure.

  • VR isn't dead and it never has been, it's just a semi-niche market now. In a couple years, it's going to be HUGE. The whole "1 Billion People in VR" thing won't even scratch the surface.

  • Poor reporting and number graphs that are meaningless. Comparing VR sales to an established console sales? You can do better I am sure. BTW VR does not need saving, its doing fine.

  • The review is suspicious to the point that I have a conspiracy theory this was paid for by a competitor.

  • This is why I cant take some of these videos seriously. Social awkwardness is your problem, not the company's. You're making it seem like it's their fault for social awkwardness

  • Awful title..you meant can this make Vr more popular. VR doesn't need to be saved, it's doing alright

  • For starters how about reinstalling support for the Rift DK2? Don't see why it should become useless after I've spent so much money on it!

  • it seems more and more that the verge folks dont know what theyre talking about. it used to be one of my favorite sites/channels but they are making great strides to change that.

  • Save vr? pppft. Vr doesn't need saving vr. The valve index sold out massively and boneworks is being made

  • I got to agree with what she said about Oculus compromising, that's what all products and services have to do anyhow. The greatest thing that this product delivers is an affordable and portable VR experience to the masses. Quest will greatly impact the VR industry and dozens of other industries much quicker than if people were to be slow to experience VR.

  • Did you really have to include the socially awkward part?
    More than likely, this product is going to be played in either privacy or parties where they know it's included to the room.

    This sounds more like you're trying to latch on to something to criticize about the headset.

  • Rift S was a let down. I was hoping it was going to be a significant step up from the Rift. Going to pass on the slight upgrade.

  • Had hoped they would be able to bring Star trek bridge crew over to quest but that doesnt seem to be happening, maybe another star trek game instead?

  • There needs to be a bigger indie-game community with VR. What will make VR explode is super cheap, well polished, but much smaller scale projects. If Nintendo, for instance, took their backlog of Nintendo64 games and ported them to VR, they could create a small, cheap, portable VR console like this to play them on and people would buy it up as rapidly as as they've been buying up the Switch. I think that the "Triple-A" experience in VR is just pushing the price of the necessary hardware a bit too much for most consumers. If Facebook could somehow promote that kind of scaled down game development for the Quest, it will be the next big thing.

  • This review was very odd. I cant relate to the whole socially awkward thing. I mean I want to game in a VR world, hence be away from the real world? Also when I game I do it alone not on the street? So WTF?

  • I like the overview of state of the industry here. But the review did not emphasize enough the iterative, yet very big step of tetherless, inside out tracking with a smooth hardware and software interface. And yes, social isolation and looking funny with VR is a thing.

  • This review is super harsh, First VR is not "socially awkward" you don't need to play VR in public just play in your home. Also can you stop saying VR needs saving like anything it will not be perfect on the first try, like was the first tv perfect, no but it was super innovative, it is very similar to VR.

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