The Oculus Quest is the first all-in-one, wireless VR headset from Facebook and Oculus. While in this review I will not be comparing it to other headsets on the market, mostly because it would take several pages to cover them all and frankly most of you are probably here for the Quest anyway, I wanted to briefly touch on how the Quest stacks up to the Oculus Rift.
Oculus Rift S vs Quest 2
The Quest and Rift are both standalone headsets that require a PC or console in order to run. The Quest is an all-in-one headset, meaning it runs on its own without being tethered to a computer or other device via any cords, while the Rift requires you to use a high end PC to power it.
Despite the Quest requiring a device like a phone, tablet, or PC in order to run, its experience is on par with the Rift’s. The Quest runs on Oculus’ new Insight tracking technology which allows for 6DOF inside-out tracking without any external sensors like those required by HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. The Rift also offers inside-out tracking, but still requires external sensors for full 6DOF motion tracking: a camera and a sensor that sits on your desk or high above the floor.
The Quest has two cameras and four ultra wide angle sensors to track its position while in use, much like Microsoft’s Mixed Reality headsets. You can move around a room freely without worrying about running into anything as the headset will stop moving once it hits an object in its path. The Rift, on the other hand, is limited by its two sensors which are placed out of reach for most gamers.
Both headsets have built-in audio and microphones for interacting with others while in VR and headphones with volume and mute controls that can be removed. The only difference is that the Quest’s audio is more focused toward being in a room rather than emulating surround sound, which means it will allow you to hear how loud your PC or console is while you’re playing.
The controllers for both headsets are nearly identical and can do many of the same things. This is because they both utilize Oculus Touch and the company’s newer Constellation tracking technology. As of now, the Quest does not allow you to play Oculus Touch games so if you want to take advantage of titles like Robo Recall, Lone Echo and Superhot VR then you’ll have to use a Rift for now.
At $399, the Quest is $200 cheaper than the Rift, but still costs almost three times what a PlayStation VR or Vive headset will set you back. cheaper than the Oculus Rift + Touch bundle. Instead of buying a headset and controllers separately, you get them both in one package with the Rift. The one downside to this is that if you don’t like room-scale VR then it’s $400 wasted since you won’t be able to use the sensors for anything else.
The Rift also offers things like Oculus Desktop which allows you to play non-VR games in a virtual theater with your VR controllers and headset on. Rift users can access the Oculus Store where they can purchase new apps or movies and watch them in virtual reality, if their game or movie supports it that is.
It’s easy to see why so many people are excited and hopeful about Quest because of all it can do, despite the fact that desktop VR has already proven itself to be highly viable for gaming as well as non-gaming applications.
While many exciting new things will be possible thanks to the release of Quest, it’s important to remember that its current library of software is extremely limited. In fact, unless you’re a fan of Robo Recall and two third-party titles (Superhot VR and Lone Echo) then there really aren’t any games available at launch worth buying just yet. Being an early adopter is extremely risky with a gaming console and even more so for one that costs $400.
Even the most hardcore Oculus fans are going to want to wait until there’s a stronger library of games before they decide whether or not it’s worth buying. Until then, you’re probably better off spending your money on something else if you don’t mind having fewer games to try out for a while.
If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Best Oculus Quest 2 Games