While many gamers have been trying to get a new PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S and PC gamers will have to shell out at least double the retail price for a new graphics card, one piece of gaming hardware isn’t that hard to find. I’m talking about the Oculus Quest 2. A couple of us here at GameSpace recently picked up a Quest 2 (each one purchased with our own money, not supplied by Oculus) and we’re both having a blast with it. If you’ve been on the fence about getting into VR (or are ready to spend that console cash on something else), here are 5 reasons to buy the Oculus Quest 2.
$299 ($399 for the upgraded version) may not sound cheap but think about it for a minute. Most VR headsets cost more AND require a VR-ready PC to use them. If this is your first time trying VR – and even if it’s not – spending $1000 for a top-of-the-line headset like the Valve Index is a tough pill to swallow. Other headsets like the Vive Cosmos or HP Reverb are still double the cost of the Quest 2. The only thing that even comes close to the price of the Quest 2 is the PlayStation VR headset, and you’ll still need a PS4 or PS5 to use it.
You get what you pay for, so the Quest 2 must not be as good as the other headsets out there, right? Not really. Each headset has its pros and cons that affect performance, but the Quest 2 holds its own compared to the higher-priced offerings. And for most people, it will be hard to argue the price to performance value that the Quest 2 offers.
Unlike other VR headsets, the Quest 2 is a self-contained unit. That means you don’t need a hardcore gaming PC to play games on the Quest 2. In fact, everything you need other than the 2 hand controllers is built into the headset. There aren’t any cameras to set up or, more importantly, take down when you are done, and since you don’t have to hook up to a PC there aren’t any wires to tether you in place.. You can even skip hunting down a headset as the built-in speakers and microphone work quite well. All of this combines to make the Quest 2 very portable. Just throw it in your backpack or a carrying case (for added protection) and off you go.
One of the biggest issues with any VR headset is comfort. The Quest 2 is quite light compared to other headsets (1 lb, 2 oz), giving it a slight comfort advantage. The lack of wires leading back to a PC is another comfort perk as you won’t get tangled up while turning or literally reach the end of your rope and be yanked back like a dog on a leash.
Not every head is the same size, so there is a decent chance the Quest 2 won’t be a perfect fit for you right out of the box. Unfortunately, to keep the price down Oculus didn’t put much in the way of extras in the box – an additional spacer to accommodate glasses is all you get. Fortunately, there are already a ton of accessories, both from Oculus and third-party suppliers, to help give you the most comfortable fit for your particular noggin.
I’ve already spent the extra $49 to get the official Quest 2 Elite Strap, and it has made a huge difference in comfort. Not only does the improved strap help with weight distribution, but the quick-fit wheel also makes swapping between users a faster and hassle-free affair. As for third-party accessories, you can find a full line of Quest 2 accessories at VRCover or other outlets, and you can find a list of add-ons that you never even knew you needed at UploadVR.
It Works In Small Spaces
As I already mentioned, the Quest 2 doesn’t have any external cameras to set up. That alone means you need less space for the Quest 2 than many other headsets. So just how much space do you need to use the Quest 2? Well, you can play games in Stationary mode (standing or sitting in a chair), so technically you can get away with just a couple feet of space.
Stationary Mode works fine for some games, but one of the main features of VR is getting up and getting active in a virtual world. If you want to be able to move around in your virtual space, Oculus recommends a 6.5 ft by 6.5 ft space at the minimum. Using its Guardian system, you are able to create a virtual fence that automatically alerts you when you move towards the edge of your play space. The more space you have the better, but this is the one time in gaming history where the minimum spec is actually adequate.
Lots Of Cheap Games
The Quest 2 may be a cheap way to get into VR, but once you are in the virtual space you will need some games to play. Cheap is a relative term, and since your wallet has already taken a hit, you’ll be glad to know that there are a bunch of good VR games to be had on the cheap.
Some of the best games for the Quest 2 are less than $30, half the price of a regular PC game. Some really high-quality games can be had for just $10. Sure, they don’t provide hundreds of hours like a AAA PC game, but they still pack in a lot of entertainment for the price.
And don’t forget that you can purchase a link cable to hook up your Quest 2 to a VR-ready PC, with wireless streaming coming soon. Paying $70 for the official Oculus link cable (I picked up a cable from Kiwi Designs for less than half the price) may sound steep, but when you think of all the games you already own that are VR capable, it’s a pretty good buy.