Oculus Quest 2: An escape from reality

With everyone stuck in their homes due to COVID-19, people are searching for home entertainment to keep themselves busy. The recently released Oculus Quest 2 is a perfect purchase for people wanting to escape our pandemic reality. 

The Oculus Quest 2 is the successor to the original Oculus Quest released in 2019. The Quest 2 is more powerful, includes an improved screen and is surprisingly inexpensive. The Oculus Quest 2 is the best choice for people looking to try virtual reality for the first time. 

(Sharon Wu | The Poly Post)

The original Quest was groundbreaking for the virtual reality industry by becoming the firstever standalone virtual reality headset, meaning you did not need an expensive computer with long cables running around to enjoy.  

At a base price of $299 for the 64GB and $399 for 256GB, the new model is cheaper than the original Quest which was $399 for 64GB and $399 128GB storage capacity. Facebook, the owner of Oculus, intentionally wanted to branch out to new consumers by making its headsets more affordable. 

The newer headset incorporates a similar look as its predecessor but is now in white instead of black. It is also 10% lighter than the original, which makes wearing it more comfortable. The headset does contain a foam faceplate which is something I do not like because if you are a heavy sweater, like myself, the faceplate will dampen quickly. Other upgrades include 50% more pixel density and will now run up to a 90Hz refresh rate than the previous 72Hz refresh rate. 

The new headset is also easier to adjust now; it has two clips you slide apart to tighten and the top strap is Velcro. Like its predecessor, the Quest 2 allows you to adjust the interpupillary distance meaning you can adjust the distance between your eyes. This affects how clearly you can see the image and the headset offers three different options to find what fits best for you.  

Modifying to each position is easy, but it is a slight downgrade. In the original, there was a slider at the bottom of the headset which you could use to adjust the IPD, but now you must physically push the lenses to do so 

My favorite upgrade the Quest 2 made was updating its processor to the Snapdragon XR2 system. With a faster processor, it will allow games and apps to run faster and improve its graphical features. Another upgrade Facebook implemented was improving the memory from 6 GB of RAM from 4 GB, allowing games that are more complex to have more breathing room. 

My only major complaint about the headset is since Oculus is owned by Facebook, it requires you to have a Facebook account to login. So, if you are new to the platform, you will need to sign up with Facebook; if not, you just merge your account. As someone who dislikes Facebook, this is the one area I wish they reconsidered. Besides that, I have no other major complaints. 

The Oculus Quest 2 is a more inexpensive, lighter, powerful and comfortable headset that is accessible for newcomers. The entire virtual reality industry needs to build off what Facebook has executed and create headsets that are completely wireless. Buying a headset that needs a computer to use it is just too expensive for this industry, especially when virtual reality is not fully mainstreamed yet. 

The Quest 2 has the potential to give people a level of escape beyond regular entertainment. With its large library of games and apps, this escape is something needed in our COVID-19 world. 

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