Oculus Connect is a yearly injection of virtual reality hype in a space where hardware and games don’t typically attract outsiders. This year was a really big hype year because there are noticeable improvements in VR technology thanks to the Oculus Quest. That said, I’m not so sure this should be the product to bring VR to the masses, at least at the current price.

A Not So Epic Quest
I’m a stats guy, I like stats. I like knowing what the best processor is for the value in my computers, consoles, phones, speakers, and pretty much anything else that I’m planning to spend money on. The Oculus Quest is slithering in with a Snapdragon 835 processor which is pretty good overall and is still zippy today on my girlfriend’s Pixel 2 but the quality of VR that I feel proud to share with people needs much more power. To put this in perspective, the amazing XR experiences found in the new iPhone excess (XS) are powered by the A12 Bionic Chip which is literally 2x faster than what’s powering the Oculus Quest. I am not an Apple fanboy in the slightest but the Oculus Quest should have really given the consumer at least a Snapdragon 845.

Oculus Quest Development Kits used a Snapdragon 835 to power them

But A Pretty Cool Journey
The completely wireless technology here is really impressive and I have to give huge props to Oculus for creating such a useful product. The truth is, Oculus is going to be the dominant name brand of VR for the foreseeable future unless there is some crazy innovation comes from competitors. This matters because the Oculus Quest has raised the bar and showed the 6DoF is mandatory at this price point, a price point already shared by the Oculus Rift. Oculus has made it clear that their next PC based headset is going to be wireless and if that means that the next generation of Rifts cost about $150 extra for a Snapdragon Processor dedicated to communicating with the PC, I’m already sold.

Oculus is a major competitor in VR, but had yet to announce a standalone 6DoF headset

Practical Uses
I was pretty impressed with my first hands-on experience with the Oculus Go earlier this year at VRLA. I was genuinely enthusiastic about what kind of experiences people will have in this $200 price range. Even Intel was hyped about virtual reality and showed off the classroom of the future that used the Oculus Rift as it’s access point to a VR education environment. I think the Oculus Quest is perfect for this type of use and can make significant gains here over the more complicated set up of the Rift and physical limitations of the Go. The Quest is going to be great for the nonintensive environment that can make use of 6DoF whereas the Go is great for entry-level Netflix like media.

Oculus Quest has one of the best tracking systems of any standalone headset

The Tick Tocking of VR
As a VR gamer I’m ripping on this because it simply shouldn’t cost this much money, but knowing how Oculus works this product will likely cost around $300 towards the middle of its life cycle which is going to be pretty cool. This is the go-to 6DoF experience that can be taken into the classroom to help students learn or to a friends house and have them experience 6DoF VR. I’m looking forward to how the Quest expands as more developers convert their less intensive, Rift exclusive games to this new platform. Additionally, as the internet speeds improve, the possibility of a cloud streaming service for more complex games becomes likely.
This is without a doubt, a great addition to the overall VR market and will definitely get some people into the technology while creating a more competitive industry for the next couple of years.

No mention of Oculus Half-Dome, a prototype announce earlier this year as the likely successor to the Rift