I’ve been following the VR market for a long time now, since its early days. Speaking from a consumer point of view, the first issue that I had is that the entry investment for enjoying the experience was quite high and for many people it still is. I need to buy a computer with a fast graphics card that at that time cost around $1000 and on top of that I needed to but the headset that cost around $600 (Oculus Rift) and with Controllers you need to add $199 to the total price.
This was more than I could afford to pay to enjoy this pleasure so I decided to skip it. Until then, I enjoyed Google Daydream, Samsung Gear VR, Google cardboard – just so I can get the taste of how it is like. I was fascinated by the technology.
I didn’t even mention that the titles were expensive when those VR headsets first launched and although many people did buy them, there were still millions of potential consumer base that didn’t because of the eye entry price.
VR has matured a lot since then, the prices of the headsets went down, same goes to the computer with the minimum requirements to run them. Game titles also become cheaper, we now have thousands of titles and many gamers can choose to play the titles that they prefer, rather than choosing to play what’s out there.
Oculus Quest is another headset planned to be released on Spring 2019. This is the first headset that really got me excited for a few main reasons:
- Standalone product – There is no need for an external computing device, a PC like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive or a compatible mobile phone like with Daydream or Gear VR.
- Untethered experience – There are no wires, a completely untethered experience – this can allow developers to create a unique experience that takes that free of mobility into account, although there are wireless solutions for current tethered headset, this requires buying an optional accessory like the VIVE Wireless Adapter (or the Pro version) which by itself cost as a VR headset (345.00 € starting price for the Vive Wireless Adapter as of the time of writing via vive.com).
- Affordable (More accessible) price – $399 for an all-in-one gaming system is a great price. No need to invest in a powerful PC (although this comes with some compromises regarding graphics performance for obvious reasons), so it’s include everything you need to get started.
- Total mobility – when I say mobility I mean that you can take the headset (and controllers) with you wherever you go, on a trip, to the next room, to a friends house, all with ease and comfort. Furthermore, you have the physical mobility that is derived from the two advantages that I mentioned above, no wires and no need for an external computer.
- Room-scale Experience – the Oculus Quest sports six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF), which is great considering it’s not a tethered headset and we don’t need to use any external sensory system to achieve that. This inside-out positional tracking will allow us to enjoy great room-scale gaming experiences.
- Built-in Spatial Audio – you don’t even need to buy or use high-quality headphones, you can built-in spatial audio with the headset built into the head strap itself. This is a true all-in-one solution!
- Other advantages include Built-in Spatial Audio (built into the head strap), high-resolution OLED displays, next-gen lenses with reduces large and a wider field of view, 72Hz refresh rate and running on a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 for improved visuals, easy for developers to port Oculus Rift games too Oculus Quest, and more.
Having an affordable headset will allow many more users to jump into VR, which will increase the market reach and encourage even more developers to start developing for the platform. To make the platform grow we need the system to be accessible for both developers and consumers alike. I’ve already seen some popular poll on Twitter that shows a lot of interest from developers to develop apps and games for the Oculus Quest.
This virtual reality head-mounted display (HMD) is what I have been waiting for a few years and I am so happy this product is coming out in 2019. I definitely have plans to purchase it and join the metaverse this year and share the excitement with you.
I am thrilled to know that there is a high-performing VR system that I can easily carry with me when I travel. I don’t need to buy a new computer to make it work, and I can use it whenever I like. I also excited knowing that many of the advanced technologies that are necessary to deliver an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience are already built into the system and aren’t dropped.
I am not saying that I don’t have my concerns. I still want to see how long the battery would last, and what are the limits that the QC chipset will impose, However, overall, after hearing and reading some of the information about it that is posted on the web, I have a good feeling that this mobile all-in-one VR system will flourish and will attract many new users, as well as allow me to jump into the metaverse and enjoy all it has to offer.
Can’t wait to become a living breathing Arcade Machine – Bring it on! 🙂