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Hands-on review: OCULUS Quest 2

By Owen McCarthy, 11 May 2021

The Oculus Quest 2 is my first and long overdue foray into the world of virtual reality. Those of you familiar with this realm will chortle and snigger as you recall my absolute lack of gaming prowess, matched only by my dogged determination and enthusiasm. Go ahead and laugh. I’ve been having fun while delving into the VR world. 

The brilliant folk from Oculus were kind enough to provide detailed instructions and a list of some of the available VR games and experiences available. I joined their mailing list and have been intrigued by the ever-growing list of available games.

I’ve been learning how to set up a personalised home space and how to define it. They recommend a space with a 2m-by-2m perimeter, so my darling wife sees this as the perfect impetus for me to clear my clutter in the study. I saw it as a chance to spend more quality time with her in the living room. 

OCULUS has rightly assumed that I’m a newbie when it comes to VR, as they have sent me a detailed description of the product.  One of their bullet-points refers to the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Platform which they describe as a “blazingly fast processor.” Qualcomm Snapdragon is the driving force behind the latest Android phone offerings, so I can’t question their pedigree.

Those of you familiar with the Quest will be interested to hear that the Quest 2 has 50% more pixels than the original Quest. I can’t compare as this is my first VR headset. Suffice to say, it’s setting quite a benchmark for future reviews.

The other feature catching my attention is the Premium All-In-One Gaming Library which promises access to “hundreds of Oculus Quest games and experiences that now look better than ever with Quest 2’s advanced display and state-of-the-art processor. And there’s an exciting slate of more games on the way.” Sadly, I’m running out of excuses to keep this review item much longer.

Meanwhile, I have fallen in love with the Touch Controllers. I’ve been amazed at their accuracy and ease of use. I felt quite acclimated to them after only a few minutes, only putting them away when discovering I needed an actual knife and fork to eat my dinner.

I was wondering if I’d feel claustrophobic or uncomfortable wearing the headset but found them exceedingly comfortable to wear. Adjusting them for my eyesight proved very simple; the slider is simple to use and even my eyes found the images and texts sharp. 

One of the interesting features is the Immersive Entertainment and Social Experiences. Oculus directs you to “Grab the best seat in the house from almost anywhere. With Oculus Quest 2, you can experience a front-row view of live concerts, ground-breaking films, and exclusive events from around the world. 

An ever-expanding slate of social experiences lets you connect with friends in VR no matter where you are.”  Sadly, with no friends, I can’t really comment on the VR social environment. 

I am looking forward to curling up and watching a good movie.  You live concert-lovers will delight in the sound quality.  You simply plug in your favourite headphones or earbuds using the built-in 3.5mm headphone jack. I have found the built-in sound amazing and more than adequate for my needs. 

Gamers are going to love the awesome positional sound, meaning that anyone sneaking up behind you had better possess the skills of a Shaolin monk or a ninja. Good luck, Grasshopper! 

Battery Life will give you about two hours of game-play and closer to three hours if you’re watching media. The Oculus App will keep you informed of battery life, and re-charge time is about 2.5 hours.

Display refresh is an acceptable 72Hz, but Quest is promising an upcoming update to 90Hz. To date, I haven’t noted any glitches, but then again I’m not playing at pace or for extended periods. A recent back injury has made me more sedentary than is good for me.  I have studiously avoided all the regimens requiring high-energy activity while trying to decide on Bowen Therapy or Acupuncture. 

I’ve spent a few minutes drooling over some of the accessories available to make your experience even better. From player performance to hygiene, you’ll find plenty of ways to accessorize your personal VR experiences.

PriceSpy puts the Quest 2 range from $699 for the 64GB model and $839 for the 256GB option.  You will be surprised at the range of experiences offered, and if their emails are anything to go by, Oculus are determined to grow the repertoire of games and realities on offer. 

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