Coming over the next few months will take a look at all the new VR headsets coming out for 2019, detailing each VR Headset model, Let’s start with the Oculus Quest.
Oculus Quest – A Closer look
On Sept.26,2018 at the Oculus Connect keynote, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the Oculus Quest next-gen headset is coming next spring 2019, for the price of $399. This headset was previously called Project Santa Cruz. Also, the name of an awesome beach town where I’m from in California. And just like the town, this project has seen a lot of changes like its new name The Oculus Quest. The unit is a smaller more of a mobile device like the Oculus go but adds full-room tracking like its big brother the Rift and adds bigger PC-like motion controls.
- No wires!
- USB-C charging port
- Room tracking without external sensors
- Six degrees of freedom
The Oculus Quest is designed to provide Rift like gaming experience on a stand-alone device. Like the Oculus Rift, this unit will provide room tracking putting you in the virtual environment using the 4 front mounted cameras rather than external sensors placed in your room. This will allow you to be in the virtual environments where ever you may be using the headset. This new technology developed by Oculus is called Oculus Insight. Allowing the front-mounted cameras to map out your room space and playfield. With no external sensors and no cables running to a high-end PC graphics card, it brings us closer to a much better mainstream Mobile all in one VR device.
where ever you may be using the headset. This new technology developed by Oculus is called Oculus Insight. Allowing the front-mounted cameras to map out your room space and playfield. With no external sensors and no cables running to a high-end PC graphics card, it brings us closer to a much better mainstream Mobile all in one VR device.
Oculus Claims the graphics will be close to what we see today on the PC connected Rift. But will the refresh rates and graphics be able to handle some of the high-end game’s features we see today on the Rift? Only time will tell if can match what the higher end graphics processors can do. The Quest looks to be using the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, Similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8. Optimizing the Processor for only VR and applications, not for anything else seen on a phone may give it some better performance for gaming graphics.
The resolution for each eye is 1,600 x 1,440 an improvement over the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, which have a resolution of only 1,080 x 1,200 per eye. The New HTC Vive Pro will display 1,440 x 1,600 per eye but at almost 3x the price tag with accessories. The Quest is a little slower 72Hz vs. 92Hz on the Rift but has two displays one per eye vs. the Go’s one large split screen.
The unit will come with two larger but lightweight controllers similar to the Rift. Using two hands is a more immersive feeling than the smaller pointer like the controller of the Oculus Go. Each controller features a circular sensor, joystick, control buttons, trigger, and grip.
The Quest is an open speaker audio system allowing you not to need any speakers. But like other VR models, it should have an audio jack for private use. The Oculus Quest uses spatial audio to project sound at your ears. This allows you to still be able to communicate with those around you and use the headset.
Before you start an application, the Quest will map out your room environment. This collects your surrounding environments boundaries and obstacles so you won’t run into your wall or collide with the couch. Mapping your environment will continue using its 4 front mounted cameras.
Because this unit doesn’t require a computer, you must access the Oculus store via a wireless connection similar to the Oculus Go. Also similar to the Go, it will require a smartphone on initial setup.
Many of the games at launch will be developed or modified by Oculus to maximize and demonstrate what the Quest unit can do. Current games showcased are:
Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series by ILMxLab.
MOSS: A giant adventure with a tiny adventurer (a little mouse)
The Oculus Quest seems like a great unit for the price. And it brings us closer to a main-stream VR all in one Device. Not everyone has a high-end PC with the latest graphics card, with a room set up to let people into the main VR experience. And while the Oculus Go is a great device for letting people new to VR experience get a taste for it, the Quest lets them feel like they are in the environment rather than just viewing it. Defiantly a step forward in VR technology we are looking forward to trying out.
Release date: Spring of 2019
Price tag: around $399