I already spent many hours with my Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset. My initial impressions were positive over the roof—but VR, more precisely, the Oculus Quest 2–is not without its problems.
Oculus Quest 2 Discomfort
First of all, let’s talk about ergonomics, comfort. One of the things that I was afraid the most is that it doesn’t matter how good the VR experience is, I won’t be able to enjoy it for long because the headset won’t feel comfortable to wear.
I can play for relatively long time, but there is a discomfort after you play like 1 hours straight and even in regular use, if you are using it above room-level temperature, it can become uncomfortable to use for more than half and hour straight.
There are accessories to improve it and make it more comfortable, but I would say overall the experience was good but I definitely hope for a lighter and less bulky VR headset in the future to come.
Pixelation (Screen Resolution)
The other issue that I knew I would experience from the get go is not having ultra-high resolution to eliminate pixelation.
Yes, you can can see the pixels when using the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset, there are very much visible but it’s noot a big problem at all. I can still enjoy all the VR experience and appreciate the beauty of built virtual world in VR but it’s there and distracting a bit.
It’s like working on a 15.4″ laptop computer with a 1400×1050 pixel resolution and not full HD. with 1920×1080 you can’t see the pixels from a normal distance but with a lower resolution display the pixels are very much apparent–same as with the Oculus Quest 2 displays.
Limited Field of View
The Oculus Quest 2 field of view is 90 degrees. Even smaller if you use glasses and you use the spacer items that comes with the Quest 2.
This means is that you do feel like you are always wearing something, even inside the virtual world. Kind of a bulky mask that it’s always there and you see through it.
If you are not focusing on it, it won’t eventually distract you, which happens most of the time. However, I definitely want to have a larger FOV for a more immersive and seamless experience. I want my entire world to be replaced with virtual but in a much more convincing way.
Movement in VR
I already was aware of the issues moving in VR when reading many articles about the technology. I knew that many people experience motion sickness and there are alternative ways to either reduce it (e.g. using viingette) or offering alternative moving mechanics.
Many virtual reality (VR) apps and games do offer ways to choose the way you want to move in the game. This can be, for example, blinking, gradual movement towards the destination, and free roam movement.
This can solve many issues and it’s indeed welcome but it doesn’t solve the disjunction between what your body is physically doing and what happens in the virtual environment. The good news is that although it feels weird at first, you get used to it.
This is also related to app design. I’ve seen that many popular apps are designed to work around this limitation and also offering a more simplified experience, those devs were able to reach a much larger audience.
This means that it’s the responsibility of the developer to be fully aware of the issues that do exist with current VR technology and make sure you tackle them so more people can enjoy the experience and increase the immersion. None of us want to feel the discomfort of the new technology, we want it to be as seamless as possible while enjoying all of its benefits as much as we can.
Overall, there is room for improvement, but many developers already know how to design their VR games and apps with that in mind.
You know, it’s kind of funny, I was playing a VR basketball game yesterday. But because I was so use to using controls to turn around, I thought the game was buggy. Than I realized that this game was designed for standing posture, so you just turn around with your body. Was kind of funny as many of the VR experience I did try were also for sit posture. I should have know, but as a new user it was funny.
Required Play Space
I am playing in a very tight space. This means that I am very limited in the space I can move when playing different VR games for example. I by mistake hit different object and couldn’t get into some games that were designed for room-scale.
I’m sure there are other people with the same issue. The thing is that the requirements aren’t that large. For roomscale VR experience you’ll need around 2m squared space.
Overall, I think that for most people it won’t be a problem, but some will need to either make more space for certain games/apps, move to another room or just skip it altogether.
It’s not an issue with the headset of course, it’s that the VR experience was designed for that type of play space. Still, something to be aware of before buying certain games on Oculus Store, Steam or other stores.
Oild, Dirt & Sweat
This is very personal of course and each one and one of us might experience it differently. However, if you play intensive VR games or play in a room with high temperature, your ‘VR Cover Facial Interface’ will collect sweat and oil.
It foam of the Oculus Quest 2 is washable but I was wondering why go with that type of material in the first place. I guess comfort was the main reason but there is an alternative, an official one in fact.
There are plenty of other 3rd party accessories to replace the Oculus Quest 2 foam with another one that is easier to clean and what that doesn’t absorb oil and sweat as much as the foam does.
I just wish Oculus Put two to choose from inside the box. But why should they if they can sell it for $29?!
Nonetheless, something to know about. I already ordered a replacement from eBay, of course for a much cheaper price, one made of silicone.
Limited Triple-A Game Selection?
Let me start saying that there are plenty of VR apps and games to choose from. Considering the market share and that it’s a relatively new medium, you’ll find plenty of apps and games that you can enjoy.
That being said, I personally find the selection to be relatively limited when it comes to “quality apps”. The price for many VR apps is quite high if you compare it to standard non-VR games as well.
This is of course incomparable to standard games, where the selection is huge and you can always come across a game that you can enjoy playing and even have it at a very attractive price or frequent sale, like on Steam.
I read one of the user reviews on Steam, that was posted for Half-Life: Alyx (playing it now). This was the highest voted review. He said that he recommend not playing it straight away, because one you do, many of the other VR games will inferior in comparison.
Now, of course, there are other amazing VR games that are also very much different in terms of the experience they offer. Having said that, it raises an interesting point is that we don’t have enough triple-A quality titles out there to enjoy and that why it stand out so easily from the rest.
More large companies will join as VR will increase in popularity, it’s a natural growth phase, and I personally not worry about that. It will just take a bit more time, and still, we have plenty of amazing VR experiences to enjoy until then. Especially if you joined VR in 2020/2021, I mean late, like myself. You can even get those at a cheaper price compared to the early days of VR.
These are a few things that I encounter during my initial VR experiences using the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset. There are more but it’s important to note that overall, I am having a blast and enjoying VR to the roof!
I think it’s a great time to get into VR if you haven’t done so. It helps me relax now in quarantine, discover a new technology that I wanted to experience for a long time but for several reasons I couldn’t.
There are plenty of apps and games out there that you can get for a “good” price. I can also enjoy both Oculus Quest 2 games and those via SteamVR. This means that most virtual reality (VR) app that was designed for Oculus Rift S and other headsets I can enjoy on my Quest 2 as well. As I said, already playing Half-Life: Alyx.
I am enjoying my Oculus Quest 2 a lot and I do recommend buying the Quest 2 if you want to experience something very special. Believe me that when I am saying this. you can’t imagine how it is, you really need to experience VR yourself to appreciate this new medium.
As much as I was a ware of things related to the technology and experienced mobile VR in the early days, modern VR is so much more and what VR should be and will be even better down the road.
Thanks for reading.