Oculus Quest unveiled as Oculus’ new all-in-one VR gaming system
Oculus has just announced a brand-new VR headset in the form of the Oculus Quest. This self-contained VR unit sits between the fantastic Oculus Go and the two-and-a-half-year-old Oculus Rift. It’s designed to be a pick-up-and-play VR gaming system that uses inside-out tracking to map a room and track Oculus Touch-like controllers.
Unveiled at Oculus’ yearly developer conference OC5, Oculus Quest represents the last of this generation’s Oculus devices. By positioning itself as a gaming-focused device that requires no PC, no wires and no sensors, it’s a more capable system than the Oculus Go but doesn’t have the technical chops to offer up gaming experiences quite on par with Oculus Rift.
It’s basically the best of both worlds for someone who wants to be able to delve into VR while also not having to deal with the faff or expense of a dedicated PC-based VR system.
To help you get to grips with just what Oculus Quest is, we’ve put together this breakdown of everything you need to know about Oculus’ brand-new VR headset.
Oculus Quest: Everything you need to know
Oculus Quest release date:
Oculus unveiled Oculus Quest at its annual conference OC5 and revealed that its new all-in-one device will launch sometime in Spring 2019.
Seeing as we have no real idea what date that actually translates to, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when to expect Oculus Quest to launch. Oculus Rift was made available in the US on 24 March 2016, and Oculus Go landed on 1 May 2018, so we could really expect it any time from March to May 2019 and that’s not particularly useful information. You’ll just have to sit tight for now.
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Oculus Quest price:
Oculus Quest is slated to retail for $399 for the 64GB model, prices and other storage sizes are yet to be revealed. This equates to £304 under direct conversion but don’t be surprised if Oculus announces a £349 – £399 price tag on launch. Currently, preorders on Oculus Quest haven’t begun, so we don’t even have a ballpark figure to go by beyond Oculus’ announcement.
Oculus Quest features:
If you’re wondering what makes Oculus Quest so different from both the Oculus Go and Oculus Rift, its all down to the features it comes with right out of the box.
For starters, this isn’t your usual Oculus device. It may look very similar to both the Go and the Rift, but this time around the Quest headset contains all the sensors needed to track an environment. While Oculus Go simply measures head movements and Rift made use of three Oculus Camera trackers to map a room-size space, Quest can assess a room and make a playable area with nothing but its built-in sensors.
Known as Oculus Insight, this inside-out-tracking isn’t too dissimilar from what’s found on the Lenovo Mirage Solo or the Windows MR line of headsets from Dell, Lenovo and Acer among others. However, Oculus Insight is a little different. Using wide-angle sensors and computer vision algorithms, Oculus Quest is able to root you within 3D space in any room with minimal setup. You’ll be able to go “beyond” room-scale, apparently, but Oculus’ Guardian system is still in place to make sure you’re safe within a set boundary.
The most interesting aspect is that Oculus Insight actually learns your room layouts. If you tend to play with Quest in the same space each time, it’ll remember that room and load it up with zero need to calibrate the device. It also remembers multiple rooms so you can hot-swap between them to play VR practically anywhere you please.
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To create an immersive VR gaming experience without wires, Oculus has decided it needs to bring Oculus Touch to Oculus Quest. While these Touch devices are slightly different from that of Oculus Rift, they are essentially the same devices and they come included with every Oculus Quest.
The biggest boon for including Touch out of the box is that developers can utilise everything they know about Oculus Rift for developing on Oculus Quest. This should mean, once hardware requirements have been factored in, most Oculus Rift games make the jump over to Oculus Quest.
Oculus Quest games:
On the games front, Oculus has said that Oculus Quest will work with “some of your favourite Rift games”, meaning Robo Recall, The Climb and Moss will be making their way to Oculus Quest around launch. Oculus also states that there will be 50 titles available on launch too.
Interestingly, an upcoming Star Wars experience from ILMxLAB will also be available on Oculus Quest with its first episode, Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series debuting on Oculus Quest for launch.
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Oculus Quest specs:
If you’re curious as to what’s powering Oculus Quest, join the queue. Oculus has said very little about what’s running the Quest but, if they expect it to play some Oculus Rift games and do inside-out tracking, it has to be particularly meaty.
What we do know about Oculus Quest is that it’ll include the same optics as the Oculus Go, with a resolution of 1,600 x 1,440-pixels per eye. Oculus Go had phenomenal optics and screen resolution, so this should be just as impressive to use. To improve things further, Oculus has also included lens spacing adjustments like on the Rift to make things more comfortable and improved Oculus Go’s built-in audio credentials – which were already rather impressive.