We’re still years away from virtual reality’s iPhone moment, but the $400 Oculus Quest proves VR already does gaming really well
According to Google, the term “VR for the masses” dates back to at least 1994 when it referred to the Nintendo Power Glove and Sega 3D glasses.
Several systems have taken the mantle since then, including the groundbreaking Oculus Rift, which set off a wave of VR enthusiasm in 2012. But it’s 2019, and VR’s acquaintance with the masses is still passing at best.
This is necessary context for any review of the Oculus Quest, another headset that’s supposed to give VR mainstream appeal. Oculus’ parent company Facebook is releasing the $399 Quest on May 21st, alongside an updated Oculus Rift model.
After spending a week with the device, I’m convinced that the Quest has a lot to offer. In some ways, it might be the best headset on the market.
But it’s still hampered with many of the same fundamental shortcomings we’ve seen for years in VR, and its convenient but low-powered design makes it a relatively pricey compromise.
The Quest is Oculus’ fourth consumer VR headset. Like last year’s Oculus Go, it’s got a standalone design, which means it doesn’t connect to a phone or PC. But where the Oculus Go is meant for stationary TV or movie viewing, the Quest is a gaming device.
It includes dual hand controllers instead of a single remote, and it’s studded with four wide-angle tracking cameras, which let users walk around a fairly large space. It will also support some of the Rift’s most popular experiences, including the rhythm game Beat Saber, rock-climbing title The Climb, and shooter Robo Recall.