I remember my fascination with VR going way back to the time of the Sega Master System when it had the 3D glasses. It was clunky but cool at the same time. Well it wasn’t really VR but to have a more interactive “realistic” experience where you are part of the game was how I pictured the future.
Then came the 90s when Sega announced that they were coming out with a VR platform and I was just super excited and waited month after month reading EGM, GamePro, and Sega Visions magazines to see if there was any news or development on the VR. Unfortunately, it faded into vaporware. Let’s ignore the Virtual Boy and the Stuntmaster because they were both garbage…
Fast forward a decade (or two) later when VR went mainstream with the Vive, Rift, and PSVR. I was on and off in the PC Master Race so I grabbed the PSVR on launch day and was just amazed out how well executed and easy to setup it was. Plus the PSVR was also more affordable than the Vive and Rift a few years ago. The games were engaging, the experience just draws you in and I was able to do it all CONNECTED to my PS4. I will admit I was scared playing Resident Evil and playing one of my favorite racing games, Wipe Out is a whole different experience in VR. Problem was that:
- I had limited space in my game room
- It had to be tethered to the PS4 which takes the realism away in terms of movement
- Playstation Move controllers, although effective were a bit awkward to use
Now here we are with the introduction of the Oculus Quest which is a standalone VR unit with all the hardware build in. No console, no phone, no PC or any device that it had to be tethered to. A device where I can dive into VR anywhere! It actually sounded to good to be true. Let me tell you this… after using this for a month, I can confidently say that the future is here.
I picked up the 128GB version at a local Best Buy on launch day. I’m sure it was a little overkill and I would have been fine with the 64GB but I didn’t want to think about storage running out. Anyway, I took it out of the box, downloaded the app and some games while it was charging, did the initial setup and had some fun playing around with the tutorial.
Speakers are kinda weak but not THAT bad. The headset is very responsive but it does get uncomfortable after using it for long periods of time. However, it was no more uncomfortable as the PSVR and the fact that I can play this without yanking my PS4 or being connected to another device is just amazing. Sure it doesn’t have the latest hardware being powered by a Snapdragon 835 (yeah the same CPU as the Samsung Galaxy S8) but it is just so well executed.
Finally loaded up Vader Immortal and then got a low battery warning because over an hour had gone by without me realizing it.
I also purchased and bought Beat Saber. To this day, I use it as part of my morning work outs to get the blood running when I start my day. I’ve been hooked on the game and it brought me back to the old Dance Dance Revolution days except this is so much better. I just hope that continue to come out with more songs.
Other game that I really enjoy playing is Robo Recall. It reminds of of those arcade shooters like Virtua Cop except you are actually in the game and you grab robots, rip them limb from limb and throw them around. This is definitely a must buy.
A non-game app that I tried was Virtual Desktop. Virtual Desktop wghich is sort of like LogMeIn or other remote desktop apps, but in VR. I even fired out some YouTube videos through Chrome on my desktop but it was a little laggy. You are better off using the browser on the Oculus. Opened up Microsoft Outlook and was able to read through my emails. There a handful of instances where you can play some Steam VR games on a desktop using this, but I personally haven’t tried it. I’m sure this application will be a lot better as the continue to develop this.
I wanted to make sure I just wasn’t going through a honeymoon phase because I remember being wowed and amazed right when I got the PSVR and now it’s just collecting dust, and that’s just mainly because it was sort of a hassle getting it setup.
It’s been a month and I have been using this every day. Like I mentioned, it doesn’t have the best graphics due to hardware limitations but the games are well ported where it doesn’t take away from the experience. Games do run smoothly and it’s just so easy to just pick up and start playing.
I can go on and on in this review but I can only describe the VR experience in so many words. You have to try it for yourself to fully understand how great the Oculus Quest is. The Quest is not perfect but it has taken me to a future that I dreamed of as a child. What a wonderful time to be alive.
Overall Rating: 4.9/5