Not like the Oculus Rift S, the Oculus Quest doesn’t technically want a PC with a view to play VR video games. As a substitute, it’s a standalone VR headset that you may play utterly wire-free with out having an incredible huge gaming PC at your disposal. Naturally, this implies it’s not fairly as highly effective as a PC-based headset, and the video games you’ll be able to play on it are restricted to what’s out there on Oculus’ devoted Quest retailer. You’ve nonetheless acquired a number of the best VR games in there, corresponding to Beat Saber, Pistol Whip and Superhot VR, however they’re separate variations of those you’ll be able to play on the Rift and Rift S. In the event you personal Beat Saber on Steam or the Rift retailer, for instance, that doesn’t imply you’ll be able to play it on the Oculus Quest.
Nevertheless, due to the current beta launch of Oculus Link, you’ll be able to in actual fact use your Quest to play Oculus Rift video games now, in addition to each different sort of PC VR sport that was beforehand out of attain. You’ll have to sacrifice its wi-fi capabilities and plug it into your PC through a high-speed USB-C to USB-A cable so as to take action, but it surely undoubtedly beats shopping for a complete new headset simply to play the new new VR sport on Steam, for instance, corresponding to Half-Life: Alyx. Is it value shopping for over the similarly-priced Oculus Rift S, although? Let’s discover out.
For some, the truth that the Oculus Quest provides you the choice of really wi-fi play can be cause sufficient to plumb for this over the Oculus Rift S, particularly when the entry-level 32GB mannequin at the moment prices the identical sum of money.
There’s additionally a 128GB model of the Oculus Quest that goes for £499 / $499 proper now, however I’d solely suggest choosing this mannequin when you actually need the comfort of getting a great deal of Quest video games put in on the headset on the similar time. In any case, any Rift or SteamVR video games you need to play through Oculus Hyperlink can be put in in your PC, so the 64GB mannequin ought to be sufficient for most individuals trying to make use of this as each a wi-fi and PC-based headset.
I need to say, taking part in VR video games with out having a wire trailing down my again is immensely liberating, and it makes me want that each one PC VR headsets had built-in wi-fi help as normal. The HTC Vive Cosmos and Vive Cosmos Elite may also be used wirelessly with the acquisition of HTC’s Wi-fi Adapter add-on, however that alone nearly prices as a lot as a complete Quest headset, going for £353 within the UK and $349 within the US when you purchase direct from HTC. Add that to the price of the usual Cosmos, and also you’re taking a look at over a grand’s value of VR package.
The £399 / $399 Quest, however, is loads kinder on the outdated pockets, making it a way more engaging choice for these on a price range. You’ll nonetheless have to spend just a little further to get it working along with your PC, admittedly, however when all you could do is purchase a high-speed USB-C to USB-A cable (which will be had for as little as £15 / $24), it’s loads simpler to swallow than HTC’s providing.
You will discover out extra in regards to the precise steps concerned in getting the Quest to work along with your PC in my devoted How to play Half-Life: Alyx on the Oculus Quest information, however primarily you want three issues:
- a appropriate graphics card (most of Nvidia’s GTX 10-series playing cards such because the GTX 1060 will work, as will the older GTX 970 and all their new RTX playing cards, and all of AMD’s RX 400 collection playing cards onwards have been accepted to be used as effectively)
- a VR-ready PC (Oculus suggest no less than an Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X CPU, 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 470 graphics card)
- a high-speed USB-C to USB-A cable
Naturally, Oculus have their very own (and quite costly) cable for the event, however they’ve additionally accepted a few different cables, such because the aforementioned £15 / $24 one from Anker, which can be loads cheaper. You may also technically use your Quest wirelessly along with your PC as effectively by shopping for the $20 Digital Desktop app on the Oculus Quest retailer, however proper now this isn’t how Oculus Hyperlink is meant to work. Certainly, this technique entails a number of further steps that really feel like a little bit of a fudge at instances, corresponding to requiring a 5GHz web connection to work reliably and side-loading patched APKs and whatnot, so I’ll be focusing the remainder of this overview on how Oculus Quest works through the meant technique on PC, which is through a wired USB cable.
The setup course of was surprisingly easy, and took not more than 15 minutes from begin to end. As soon as I’d allowed the Quest to play non-Oculus video games within the settings menu on the Oculus app, the world was my oyster, so I instantly loaded up a little bit of Half-Life: Alyx to try it out. As I discussed in my Best VR headset for Half-Life: Alyx article, the Quest put in a extremely fairly admirable efficiency right here, and that’s regardless of having a barely decrease refresh fee and a narrower area of view than its Rift S cousin.
Admittedly, Oculus have by no means specified the Quest’s precise visual field for some cause, but it surely’s broadly thought to be being someplace round 90 levels quite than the extra normal 110 levels you’ll discover on the Rift S, Valve Index and HTC Cosmos headsets. Certainly, there was undoubtedly a extra noticeable porthole impact on the Quest, with a thicker black rim circling the display screen, however I wouldn’t say it was significantly detrimental to my general VR expertise.
The identical goes for its 72Hz refresh fee. It’s a fraction slower than the 80Hz refresh fee you get on the Rift S, for instance, however in observe I couldn’t inform the distinction in any respect. Each headsets felt equally clean to me, and I didn’t really feel nauseous at any level throughout my month of testing.
The Quest’s inside-out monitoring felt simply as correct and immersive because the Rift S as effectively. I used to be in a position to play fast-paced motion video games like Half-Life: Alyx with none drawback in any respect on the Oculus Quest, and I didn’t expertise any hand drifting or monitoring judder in anyway. The Quest’s monitoring capabilities weren’t affected by my workplace’s lighting situations both, and I used to be in a position to play video games with out subject no matter whether or not it was sunny or overcast exterior when the curtains had been open, and it didn’t have an issue after I had my workplace lights on in the course of the night, both – which is greater than I can say for the Vive Cosmos.
The Quest makes use of the identical Oculus Contact controllers because the Rift S, too, that are pretty and light-weight to carry for lengthy intervals of time and have splendidly tactile and responsive buttons. It additionally means you’ll be able to reuse your controllers when you determine to improve to a Rift (or ‘downgrade’ to a Quest) too – which, once more, is greater than will be stated for the Vive Cosmos and Cosmos Elite headsets, which require several types of controllers.
I’ve to confess, although, having a cable protruding the aspect of the headset was a little bit of a bummer. Because the solely port on the Quest is its USB-C charging port on the entrance of the headset, my Anker cable caught out at fairly an angle in comparison with the official, downward-facing Oculus one, and I stored bashing it with my left hand and arm as a result of there was nothing feeding it down over the again of my shoulder like there may be on the Rift S.
The size of 10ft was additionally nearly lengthy sufficient if I stood very near my PC, however after I tried setting it up in my lounge, the place the PC is over by the TV, it was a little bit of a stretch if I wished to sit down down and play video games on the couch. The official Oculus Hyperlink cable is a bit longer (16ft or 5m, matching the cable you get with the Rift S), however happening the cheaper cable route undoubtedly looks like a little bit of a hindrance.
The place the Quest falls down probably the most for me, although, is the show and its general construct high quality. Reality be informed, the Quest’s show truly has the next decision than the one on the Rift S, coming in at 1440×1600 per-eye for a mixed decision of 2800×1600 in comparison with the 1280×1440 per-eye (or 2560×1440) decision on the Rift S. The Quest additionally has a extra vibrant OLED show quite than a conventional LCD one, however by way of general readability it’s the Rift S that wins out right here.
That’s principally as a result of the Quest has to funnel all that video and pixel knowledge down the USB-C cable quite than a correct DisplayPort just like the Rift S, leading to a barely fuzzier, extra compressed image general. It’s not so disastrous that it will put me off utilizing the headset fully, however there’s a noticeable downgrade within the headset’s general visible high quality after I in contrast them one after the opposite. It was much less noticeable in simpler-looking VR video games, corresponding to Beat Saber and Area Pirate Coach, however detail-packed video games corresponding to Half-Life: Alyx undoubtedly appeared loads crisper on the Rift S.
I additionally discovered it fairly uncomfortable to put on for lengthy intervals of time. Not like the Rift S, for instance, there’s no rear adjustment dial on the Quest, so your solely technique of getting a snug match is to make use of the velcro straps on the highest and aspect of the headset. This was effective for probably the most half – even for somebody with a smaller than common head like myself – but it surely does imply the Quest is overly top-heavy, as there’s nothing there to assist anchor the headset to the again of your head. Mix that with its comparatively minimal quantity of face padding across the entrance of the headset, and it shortly turns into fairly painful. Each Quest session would finish with huge marks on my cheeks and the highest of my nostril, and I couldn’t actually tolerate rather more than 30 minutes at a time. The Rift S, however, is loads simpler on the outdated cheekbones and I may typically put on that headset for a very good hour or so, if no more, earlier than my face acquired a bit sizzling.
In consequence, I might most likely nonetheless go for the Oculus Rift S if given the selection, if solely as a result of it’s extra nice for me to make use of frequently. I do like how the Quest provides you the choice of wired and wi-fi play (together with that vast library of Quest, Rift and SteamVR video games), and the Oculus Hyperlink tech itself is very spectacular, even in its present beta state. For me, although, the Quest headset simply isn’t snug sufficient to justify shopping for it over the Rift S proper now, particularly because it’s the identical value of £399 / $399. If the Quest was a bit cheaper, I’d most likely be extra keen to place up with its lack of face padding, however when each headsets price the identical sum of money there’s merely no contest. I’m 100% on board with what the Quest can do and the way it features. I simply need it in a Rift S-style headset.