Movies and videogames have always been a nice way to escape and unwind, but with everything that’s been going on lately, some of us have needed extra oomph to feel like we’re really getting away.
With in-person excursions — both local and long-distance — more difficult to accomplish these days, I’ve turned to virtual reality to fill the gap. And my transportation of choice is Oculus Quest 2, the brand’s third generation of groundbreaking VR technology.
As its most refined version yet, I think Oculus Quest 2 is finally ready for mainstream adoption, helping those who are new to gaming and VR enjoy the limitless possibilities offered by this advanced technology.
Let me show you the ways that Quest 2 might help satisfy some of your most common and persistent needs like travel, entertainment, social interactions, exercise, and more.
Comfortable and Accessible VR for Everyone
One of the main reasons why I feel that Quest 2 is the device to really popularize VR is thanks to the implementation of many ergonomic updates from Oculus’ previous learnings.
Quest 2 is smaller, lighter, and much more comfortable, allowing for better accessibility and less distractions while fully immersed in an experience. The soft flexible straps help the device easily conform to a variety of head shapes, while the compact form factor greatly lowers fatigue-inducing pressure and weight from the front of your face.
All the while, performance has been efficiently increased with 50% more pixels than the previous Quest model, more RAM, and a lot less heat generation. What this means for users is distinctly better graphics and longer VR sessions. With the original Quest, I could only stand to wear it for about 15 – 20 minutes at a time because the pressure on my face plus the heat emanating towards my eyes would give me a headache. Now, with Quest 2, I’m easily immersed in VR for over an hour, and no longer constantly reminded that I’m wearing something on my head.
The hand controllers have also received an ergonomic update, now featuring a thumb rest to allow for a more natural grip. This addition also prevents accidental button presses when you’re grasping the controller tightly to fend off zombies or slice some musical cubes. I have big hands, and the new Quest 2 controllers are much more comfortable to hold.
When I’ve previously introduced VR to friends with the older, clunkier headsets, it always feels like they’re peeling off a giant burden when they come back to reality. But with the design updates of Quest 2, I’m confident the experience will be more akin to putting on lab goggles in science class — at least that’s been the case for me!
Move Naturally in Your Virtual World
With its built-in cameras, Quest 2 is an all-in-one VR device that’s free from any wires. Gone are the days when you had to be tethered to an expensive gaming PC. Quest 2 offers room-scale tracking without the need for external sensors, meaning your movements in real life are translated into whatever game or experience you’re enjoying.
Talk about getting a workout — there are plenty of games that require you to duck, dodge, shoot, slice or punch, and the freedom to move around the room is really satisfying.
It adds another important layer of immersion to help you feel like you’re actually in the game’s world. The first time that you physically move over to interact with something is an unforgettable experience.
Quest 2 also has the ability to track your hands, so for apps that support it, you can put down the controllers and just act naturally. This feature is also enabled for the main Oculus interface, so you can browse the Internet or shop stores with pinches, swipes, and hand gestures just like we’ve all seen in sci-fi movies.
This advanced tracking, which is hosted on a single headset, is what elevates the VR experience and makes things really easy for everyone. There’s no complex setup process, no need for an expensive gaming PC, and no wires to trip over. You just need a mobile phone and Wi-Fi, and you can get started as quickly as you can log in to your Facebook account.
Your In-Home Travel Agent and Event Concierge
Like most people, I’ve been housebound for a while, but Quest 2 has helped shrink distances between friends and also made the impossible, possible.
Yes, video calls add a visual element to conversations, but there’s just something different about feeling like you’re in the same physical space as someone.
For example, I’m in California and my friend is in Florida, so we celebrated her birthday by meeting up in AltspaceVR. We chatted over (virtual) drinks, launched fireworks, played dress up, and watched YouTube on the big screen. It really felt like we were there together because our avatars relayed our expressions so well with head, facial and hand movements.
And with lots of platforms, including YouTube, now supporting 360-degree video, I explored what life was like in various places around the world. I participated in casual walking tours and accompanied local guides as they showed us their favorite places and experiences — things we would never be able to discover by ourselves as tourists.
The built-in Oculus TV app also features a ton of high quality content where you get to be front and center on all of the action.
There’s also plenty of live events and concerts to attend from the comfort of your chair, and you get to share the experience with all of the other VR users around the world. As someone who’s never really been a fan of crowds, this has quickly become my preferred method for live entertainment!
In my opinion, Quest 2 and the virtual reality experience it offers is more than just immersive gaming — it’s a way to bring people, places and experiences closer together like never before.
Where to Buy Oculus Quest 2
Oculus Quest 2 is available now at a starting price of $299 with 128GB of built-in storage. FYI, this is $100 less than the cost of the previous Quest model.
Shop Quest 2 at most major retailers: