By: Aiden Lynam
Facebook’s new portable virtual reality console, the Oculus Quest 2, is an uncomfortably bulky and frustratingly limited piece of hardware, that somehow still revitalizes virtual gaming and shows the boundaries we are breaking to defy technological limitations. It was on September 16th, 2020 that the Oculus Quest 2 was unveiled at Facebook Connect 7. The corporate tech giant had been wanting to improve their reputation and create something outside of the norm, reminiscent of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s original vision for the company. Now, with platforms such as Metaverse and the increase of socialization between gamers and casual players alike on the virtual hemisphere largely due to the social projects Facebook is often linked with, the Oculus Quest 2 is soaring to new heights and receiving frequent updates, even around a year and a half later. 1
Facebook was created by founder and still CEO/Corporate titan Mark Zuckerberg in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2004. Though originally stemming as a way for college students to meet up and create social networks, Facebook has since branched out to creating its own news feed catered to every user, expanded its roots to people around the world regardless of college association, and become a global phenomenon with over 1.93 billion users near-daily. 2
Facebook has decided to spread their phone tapping fingers even further into the market since October 13th, 2020, with the release of the Oculus Quest 2, a heavily updated version of the first prototype created significantly earlier. Users of the Oculus Quest 2 have an expanded library of over 200 possible games to either buy or download free depending on the title. With demos to an inconceivable amount of games, it’s hard to worry about wasting any money on a bad product that the quest offers either. Rocking a classy white design, easily maneuverable joysticks and a portable compactness, the quest does very well on doing what it’s designed to do- and that’s being a flexible and reliable piece of virtual fun for the everyman. At a significantly lower price than most virtual reality headsets of just $299-$399 depending on storage capacity, the Quest 2 is affordable, simple and sometimes property destroying fun.
Sounds great, right? Sure, if you’re not picky and are easily entertained. However, this wouldn’t be an honest review without mentioning the inherent and sometimes blatantly annoying problems the Quest brings as well. Number one: The Oculus Quest 2 is an absolute monstrosity to wear on one’s head. Despite being portable and easy to move around in, the Quest’s headset size is gargantuan in order to provide the performance stability needed to run higher end games. Because of this, be prepared to deal with problem number 2: Headaches. If I had a dollar for every time I decided to box, shoot, or climb my way out of a sticky situation in-game only to feel required to pause because of a nasty headache, blurred vision or dizziness, I’d finally have enough money to buy any of the numerous games with a $40 price tag. The constant gyroscopic bobbing and weaving, both in-game and real life while moving around a 3D simulated environment can be daunting at first. Eventually, you’ll get the hang of it, but your body may not. Many Quest 2 users have reported motion sickness and eye strain as a result of the blend between reality and screens. Most side effects can be easily treated in the short term with frequent breaks, but you may need to watch out for long term vision damage. This may never be fully fixed, the way our biology works- but gaming is getting more advanced, and we may be able to adapt eventually for the most part. Finally, problem number 3: Expenses. In terms of movement and practical capability, the Quest 2 is arguably the greatest virtual reality advancement in the past decade, next to its predecessors- the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Quest 1 model. Because of this functionality to be portable and have quality games, most installments available for the Quest 2 can be moderately pricey. While almost no games carry the $60 price tag like a new Playstation game would, $20-$40 is the average price for a Quest 2 game. With varying factors such as length, graphics, in-game physics and user ratings, every game is unique, but there are few to no sales. These sales only occur every few months, and gamers are never informed on what games get discounted ahead of time, making the ability to save money randomized and tough to figure out.
Overall, the Oculus Quest 2 is leaps and bounds more fun to own than to not. Despite its flaws and shortcomings that are true to almost every VR headset, the Quest 2 is a masterclass in how to create fun and fairly accessible VR gaming to the average casual player. A living room is often a big enough setup for most games, and the controls are easy to learn. I’ve even seen videos of old people in their 80s and 90s playing moderately well for their age, though I highly discourage putting grandma in front of Resident Evil 4 VR, unless you’re trying for an early funeral. This is it, the end of the Oculus Quest 2 Review. The final verdict?…