The latest addition to the Oculus family, the Oculus Quest is the first mobile virtual reality headset to be developed with both hardware and software in tandem.
It’s apparent from the outset that the Oculus Quest sports relatively poor image quality compared to other similarly-styled mobile VR headsets, but we’re still liking the overall feel and durability of the device. The Rift, meanwhile, is currently only coming in its home-grown form factor.
In terms of content, Oculus has integrated the Facebook ecosystem to bolster its own collection of mobile apps and experiences. An Oculus Music demo shows a talented pop artist play a light show using simple VR modulator technology. The demonstration also allows the user to touch as well as see everything in a virtual backdrop.
Performance is a matter of personal preference, but the Oculus Quest that we tested currently offers an impressive 90% frame rate on PlayStation 4, compared to the 30% that the same-sized Razer Blade handsets offers. The headset also features an Oculus DisplayCore that delivers 1575 x 1440 resolution. One of our pre-reviews had previously noted that the device was significantly softer-feeling than other mobile VR systems.
The camera app is far from perfect and constantly runs into trouble when the processing is busy, but the main point of Oculus’ presentation was to bring out the different types of VR headset types. In addition to a home-built one, there are much more popular VR styles such as Samsung’s Gear VR and one currently in production from Lenovo called HMD Pop-Up.
Each of the headsets has its pros and cons, and the individual factors that drive your decision will also determine which home-built or professional headset you go with. The Oculus Quest may not be capable of our high-end gaming experience, but it does hold plenty of value for those looking to explore new applications for mobile VR.
As we move into the new era of consumer-friendly VR, devices like the Oculus Quest will become increasingly powerful and easy to use. Though the Quest has significant limitations in key areas, it may be thought of as a glimpse into the future of entertainment.