In lockdown due to COVID-19? Leave the house virtually with an Oculus Quest.
We knew that any lockdown was going to have to be for quite a few weeks so for Easter I bought the kids (and me) an Oculus Quest.
William had been wanting a VR headset for some time but most required a heavy expenditure for the headset followed by an even higher expenditure for the PC capable of running them.
The Oculus quest however is a all in one solution, yes the headset’s expensive but there’s no requirement for the latest top of the range Gaming PC to go with it.
I researched it for a while, looking at many reviews on the product and Gameplay videos, what became apparent was everyone’s reaction to the quality of the system even though it wasn’t being powered by a huge PC with expensive graphics cards – so I took the plunge.
A good starting point is the Oculus YouTube videos to get a feel for the product, then go to the independent reviews.
The Quest comes elegantly packaged with two hand controllers, batteries, charger and an adapter for wearing the unit with glasses.
The systems setup using the Oculus App on your phone or tablet which walks you through creating an account and connecting your headset to your WiFi.
Putting the Quest on for the first time you are walked through a calibration sequence to adjust the unit to your eyes.
To prevent you walking into things while in your virtual environment the system has to create a boundary for you to play in.
You’re helped to setup a gaming boundary, to do this the Quest allows you to see the room around you in black and white and you set the floor height and play area by painting it with your controllers.
After this you’re given an introduction to the quest and left to play in this virtual environment with a radio controlled blimp, rockets, cubes, ping pong bat etc.
Oculus Quest Games
The boys had played some VR games when they had been in a VR games room.
This is a very popular VR game and even for a resolute non dancer like me is enjoyable for both the player and the spectators as you en-devour to smash all the cubes flying towards you to the rhythm of the music.
Beat Saber is a unique VR rhythm game, where your goal is to slash the beats (represented by small cubes) as they are coming at you. Every beat indicates which hand you need to use and also the direction you need to match. The game can be easily described as a mashup of Guitar Hero and Fruit Ninja in VR. All the music is composed to perfectly fit the hand made levels. The goal is to make players almost dance, while cutting all the cubes and avoiding obstacles. Each cut is strongly supported by great sound and visual effects to emphasize the rhythm.
This is the first shooter we bought, or should I say I bought while playing withe the headset for the week or two before Easter “setting it up for the kids “. This is a really submersive game and the robots come at you from all directions. How you interact with them is really intuitive as you tear your way through wave after wave of attacks.
Use creative combat tactics and skill shots to earn high scores as you teleport through city streets and rooftops in an awe-inspiring ballet of bullets. Tear apart your robot foes and use them to fend off the enemy onslaught. Unlock, customize and test weapons before taking on challenges that put your newfound skills to the test!
This is one of the games the boys had experienced before we bought the Quest and while I can see no entertainment value in it both boys seem to like it. Essentially you’re given tasks in a number of work environments office, garage & cafe to complete. yep go figure I haven’t a clue why they like it.
A tongue-in-cheek virtual reality experience for motion controlled VR platforms. The year is 2050.
In a world where robots have replaced all human jobs, step into the “Job Simulator” to learn what it was like ‘to job’.
Oculus Quest Accessories
Branded Oculus accessories are expensive for what they are so here are some of the unbranded options we have bought.
While you could very well us the box the Quest came in, a far easier and more compact storage solution is a dedicated case.
Some people are using glass heads as storage and charging holders for the quest, these do look cool but take up too much room for us as we want to store it away in a cupboard.
The tiny wrist straps that come attached to the handsets are OK but don’t provide a hold to your hand. These allow you to let go of the controllers and not lose them, they stay in your palm.
Looking at reviews, a common thread has been not to play the Quest while plugged in and charging.
Accidentally pulling on the lead as your thrashing around killing zombies pulls on the lead, not pulling the lead out but breaking the plug in the Quest headset. Solutions to this have been magnetic charging leads but I haven’t found one in the UK that doesn’t have some issues on its reviews and at the moment its a good excuse to get the kids off the games for a while.
The Oculus Quest has built in speakers that work really well but for a more submersive experience and to not disturb others, headphones can be attached.
We are using normal headphones at the moment but intend to buy these little earpieces that plug into ports on either side of the headset, making for a more comfortable setup. There are option in the advanced setting to pair Bluetooth headphones but I haven’t as yet and reviews comment the lag is off putting.