Vr lately has almost always been labelled as a niche market for enthusiasts and early adopters. But with the launch of Oculus Quest it seems the industry is trying to change that. Are we looking at a successful VR product that has appeal to a mass market? Let’s find out!
The biggest stumbling block to VR since launch has been the barrier to entry. Consumers have generally needed a super powered beefy PC and a large play area to walk around in. With the introduction of the PSVR a few years ago, we crossed off some of those limitations but not really. You still needed a Playstation 4 console, a ps camera and ideally the Move controllers from the PS3 era. Not as expensive as a beefy PC but still a big ask. This meant that VR success was really reliant on either Pc owners or Ps4 owners showing interest in the tech and be willing to throw some big money at it. Getting rid of those entry level barriers wouldn’t be easy!
Introducing the Oculus Quest! No need for a ps4, no need for a camera, no need for sensors, no need for a PC. This is a standalone purchase that works right out of the box. Running with internal processing power similar to a mobile phone, the Quest offers VR gaming with no need to hook into the power of a PC or Playstation 4. It just works as is and might just attract a lot more buyers at an asking price of $400.
Inside Out Tracking & Touch Controllers
The genius to the new headset lies in the sensors built in to the unit and also built into the touch controllers. It can see and track movements without the need for external cameras or sensors and the accuracy of tracking is better than anything else we’ve seen to date. It offers one-to one tracking of the controllers and allows for very realistic and immersive game play.
Did I mention it’s wireless? No more cables. You can roam free. Doesn’t need to be plugged in or connected to anything. The headset can be charged similar to a mobile phone and the controllers run off batteries. This makes it easy to take with you and show off to your friends while also offering better game immersion as you’re not worrying about tripping over wires all the time. Definitely a step in the right direction and hopefully something all future Vr companies will adopt.
Downside – Processing Power
The only limitation with the Quest is the hardware powering it. The processing power is similar to last gen mobile phones which doesn’t grow confidence in future gaming. Games like ‘Robo Recall’ have been ported to the Quest and the downgrade in graphics is very noticeable. Sure the resolution is crisp but the details are lacking. This isn’t a deal breaker as the greatest Vr games out at the moment don’t rely on impressing us with their graphics. BeatSaber, Moss, SuperHot Vr are three of the most addictive games available on any headset and none of them rely on heavy processing power and are equally pretty to look at in their own rights.
But the lack of power can’t be ignored. As Vr tech progresses, it feels that the Quest is already pushing it’s limits which doesn’t fill me full of confidence.
Is the Quest for Everyone?
Great lenses, superb resolution and wireless pick up and play have massive appeal and competitors need to take note. Yes this is Vr for everyone and the asking price is reasonable. Seasoned early adopters will want more power but this is still a brilliant step into getting headsets out to the masses and boosting the platform!
More headsets, means more consumers, means more developer interest, which means more games. All good news for the future of Vr!