Question Oculus Quest Review: VR Just Ditched The PC

Apr 30, 2019
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I have some concerns about the display quality of the Quest. I currently own the Go, and I'm not a fan of the images it creates as compared with the Rift and the Gear VR. The colors aren't very vibrant, and the blacks are more like greys. I can handle the lower refresh rate, but I'd like to hear how visual fidelity is on the Quest versus the Go.
 
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So whats going to happen to the users who own the Oculus CV1? Will high-quality PC driven games still be supported and expanded upon?
Oculus will be launching an updated Rift at the same time as this, and other companies like Valve will soon be releasing new PC-connected headsets as well, so I don't see PC driven VR going away anytime soon.

I have some concerns about the display quality of the Quest. I currently own the Go, and I'm not a fan of the images it creates as compared with the Rift and the Gear VR. The colors aren't very vibrant, and the blacks are more like greys. I can handle the lower refresh rate, but I'd like to hear how visual fidelity is on the Quest versus the Go.
Unlike the Go which uses an LCD panel, the Quest uses OLED panels, so it should likely offer better contrast with deeper blacks.

However, these are the kinds of things that should have been covered in the review. This article felt more like a first-impressions piece than anything. If the writer has a pile of VR headsets next to him, why not provide some more detailed comparisons to those headsets? How does the sharpness and clarity compare? Or the field of view? What about the weight distribution? Audio quality? Is there anything that justifies paying an extra $100 for the version that includes $10 worth of additional storage? And is there no other way to expand storage, like a MicroSD slot? The review felt rather light on details.

In any case, while this device might be a big improvement over the Oculus Go (albeit at double the price), this kind of headset doesn't really impress me much. Being a "standalone" device (still apparently requiring a smartphone to manage content) the Quest is ultimately going to be limited to the hardware that it ships with. The visuals are already behind PC VR before it even launches, and will only fall further behind as time goes on and graphics hardware improves. Plus, it doesn't sound like the battery is easily replaceable, and has somewhat mediocre run-time to begin with, so what happens after a couple years when the battery's capacity has been reduced further due to wear? Much like smartphones, this headset seems designed to be disposable, so when they come out with a new one a couple years down the line, people will feel the need to upgrade. And also much like smartphones, you appear to be limited to a walled-garden app store for acquiring content. That's not exactly the kind of VR ecosystem I would like to see.

The Quest may be a decent option for someone who doesn't have gaming-capable hardware that can run a tethered headset, and it has some potential to become popular as a "vr console", though I suspect it won't provide the longevity of a typical console, and I don't see it selling like one either without a bunch of AAA games coming to the platform.

Edit: Road To VR has a much more thorough review, that goes into more detail about both the good, and not-so-good aspects of this headset. They seemed to have an overall positive view of the headset as well, but also made a point of noting its issues and compared it to other headsets...

 
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Much like smartphones, this headset seems designed to be disposable, so when they come out with a new one a couple years down the line, people will feel the need to upgrade.
Well, VR is kinda like that (even more than current smartphones, I'd say). Even now, it'd be foolish to buy a VR HMD, assuming it won't be hopeless obsolete in 5 years. The typical VR upgrade cycle is still probably 2-3 years.


And also much like smartphones, you appear to be limited to a walled-garden app store for acquiring content.
Isn't that where the Rift started, and it was only through a hack that people enabled it to be used with Steam? I know the converse was true.

It seems to me that all current VR makers are still aspiring to have their own walled-gardens. MS, Google, HTC, Valve, and Oculus all have their own content platforms - even if they're not too strict about it, I think that can always change.

The Quest may be a decent option for someone who doesn't have gaming-capable hardware that can run a tethered headset, and it has some potential to become popular as a "vr console", though I suspect it won't provide the longevity of a typical console, and I don't see it selling like one either without a bunch of AAA games coming to the platform.
I think you underestimate the potential for it to be used in multi-user games within the same space. This is a fundamentally different use case than you can currently achieve, except with location-based experiences that currently use VR backpacks.

I'm not saying that's going to sell these well enough to take them truly mainstream, but we should keep an eye on it. It's a pity they couldn't launch with something like that, but I guess their tracking software probably needs some more work to ensure players don't run into each other (or R/L NPCs entering the play space).
 
Well, VR is kinda like that (even more than current smartphones, I'd say). Even now, it'd be foolish to buy a VR HMD, assuming it won't be hopeless obsolete in 5 years. The typical VR upgrade cycle is still probably 2-3 years.
True, but at least with PC VR, the older headsets are still likely to remain compatible with newer games, provided the connected PC has the hardware to run them. Maybe there will be some cases where the lower resolution of a first-generation consumer Rift or Vive will make it harder to play certain games, but I suspect they should be able to at least run the games for quite a while still, and remain viable pieces of equipment for some time.

With a standalone headset, you are limited to whatever hardware it comes with, and there's no guarantee that the higher-end-smartphone-level hardware in this headset will be able to hold up well for more than a few years. Even now, it seems unlikely that the device would be able to run more demanding titles like the upcoming No Man's Sky VR at a suitable performance level, so its questionable whether something like that would come to the platform.

On a device like this, it would be nice to see the option for PC connectivity as standard. The article touches on there possibly being the option for them to add that through USB-C in the future, but there are no guarantees that will happen. There's no good reason to not allow a device like this to be used as a tethered headset, as the costs involved to make that possible should be minimal, and it would give users more flexibility around what VR experiences they can run.

I think you underestimate the potential for it to be used in multi-user games within the same space. This is a fundamentally different use case than you can currently achieve, except with location-based experiences that currently use VR backpacks.
That's actually a good point, as it should be more practical and significantly less costly to do those kinds of things with standalone devices, at least compared to what's currently available. I wouldn't say it's impossible on the PC or upcoming consoles though. Especially if we're talking about toned down graphics like what one will find on a device like this, I see little reason why a system couldn't push video feeds to at least a couple headsets at once. You would probably want them to be wireless if users are moving around freely though.
 

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