The Oculus Quest 2 is better and cheaper than its predecessor, which made VR much more affordable last year. That makes it the most accessible headset ever – for which you have to make one sacrifice.
Virtual reality is now razor-sharp
In the roughly four years that virtual reality has been on the rise, it has mainly been a hobby for nerds. To use the first, expensive glasses, powerful PCs were needed, which only hardcore gamers had at home.
That changed when Facebook bought eyewear maker Oculus. The company hopes to find a mainstream audience for the technology, so it released the Oculus Go and first Quest glasses. Neither required a PC, while the Quest offered much of the same experience as expensive machines. That was very special for 450 euros.
We wrote in a review last year that the Quest was the first VR glasses for non-geeks, which were not perfect at the time. The hardware made the Quest quite heavy, which made it pull on your head when used.
With the Quest 2, Facebook tries to make a big step in one go. In summary, the glasses have a much higher resolution, lighter weight and a lower price of 350 euros.
The improvements for the screen are very big. The amount of pixels has increased by 50 percent, giving the device a resolution of 1,832 by 1,920 pixels per eye. It’s as if half a 4K television is hanging in front of every eye.
This increase in resolution ensures that the virtual world looks razor-sharp. Previous headsets showed a kind of ‘screen door’, caused by the space between the individual pixels on the screen. This is no longer the case with the Quest 2.
Where the Quest 1 used a somewhat older smartphone processor, the Quest 2 has a chip that is specially designed for virtual reality. The difference is noticeable in practice. Games optimized for the new Quest look much more beautiful and detailed.
It is hard to believe that such powerful hardware is sold in a device for only 350 euros. But there is also a downside: to use a Quest 2, you must log in with a Facebook account.
That obligation feels a bit strange, given that previous headsets could use a separate Oculus account. It may be how Facebook hopes to recoup the high production costs of the glasses.
By linking what you do and play to your account, the company can eventually show more targeted advertisements on the social network. And that way, the guaranteed small margin on the sales price can be offset.