Facebook Releases Oculus Quest 2

Interest in virtual reality spiked amid the COVID-19 pandemic as people looked for a safe escape from isolation. Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 started shipping on Tuesday, upping the VR gaming industry.

Around 18 months ago, Facebook released its first VR gaming system, the Oculus Quest. Yesterday, after months of anticipation, the Oculus Quest 2 started shipping. All initial reviews rave over the new headset and system upgrades:

Six years after Facebook acquired Oculus VR, the company has released a device that feels meaningfully complete. In short, the new Quest 2 headset is a fantastic piece of hardware that showcases what a rewarding ecosystem can be built when you throw enough money and engineering talent at a dream. -Lucas Matney of TechCrunch

Even if the Quest 2 were the same price as before, it would be easy to recommend. It’s lighter and faster and has revised controllers with better battery life. The display resolution is notably crisper and remarkably easy to read text on. -Scott Stein of CNET

The Quest 2 is an upgrade in every way, with a lighter design, a sharper display, and a faster processor, all at a more affordable price than the original. For $300, it’s the best all-in-one package for using VR, with optional accessories for PC tethering and to double the battery life of the headset. That makes it the best VR headset at this price by far, and our Editors’ Choice. -Will Greenwald of PC Mag

Even before reviews poured in, sellers struggled to keep pace with pre-orders. Users of the first generation Oculus Quest knew what needed fixing and what potential upgrades would do for the system. But Facebook went above simply upgrading the original. The Quest 2 features include:

-Lower price: $299 (64GB) or $399 (256GB)
-New two-tone design
-More powerful Snapdragon XR2 Platform
-6GB RAM (Original Quest had 4GB)
-503g headset weight, 10% lighter than previous generation
-Product Dimensions: ​191.5 mm x 102 mm x 142.5 mm (strap folded in)
-72hz 1832×1920 (per eye) Fast-switch LCD
-Integrated speakers and microphone
-2-3 hours battery life
-Adjustable IPD with three settings for 58, 63 and 68mm
-Redesigned controllers

Still, nothing is perfect and that holds true with this device. Some of the drawbacks include the requirement of a Facebook log in, the new head strap is poorly designed, no expandable storage, lengthy time to full charge, short battery life and it doesn’t offer much beyond gaming. Although most of the games are getting upgrades and there’s still ways to hold virtual meetings, the platform doesn’t offer much else.

If you’re just starting to look at VR gaming or VR services, and you don’t mind logging in with Facebook, the Oculus Quest 2 is the way to go. People familiar with VR headsets will enjoy the features and upgrades, while new users can break into the VR world at a lower price. No one knows how long we will have to work from home or be socially distant because of COVID-19. The Quest 2 provides a safe escape from reality, with a little enjoyment and relaxation splashed on the top.

About the Author

Pieter VanIperen, Managing Partner of PWV Consultants, leads a boutique group of industry leaders and influencers from the digital tech, security and design industries that acts as trusted technical partners for many Fortune 500 companies, high-visibility startups, universities, defense agencies, and NGOs. He is a 20-year software engineering veteran, who founded or co-founder several companies. He acts as a trusted advisor and mentor to numerous early stage startups, and has held the titles of software and software security executive, consultant and professor. His expert consulting and advisory work spans several industries in finance, media, medical tech, and defense contracting. Has also authored the highly influential precursor HAZL (jADE) programming language.

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