Immersive virtual reality (VR) has long been considered something that’s out of reach for most people, but the announcement of the Oculus Quest is about to change all of this. Virtual reality is the next step in how technology can make your life better, and it’s about to get a whole lot easier to jump right into the middle of much more realistic virtual universes.
Here’s everything we know about the Oculus Quest – at least so far:
From Concept to Project
The release of the Oculus Quest was first announced by the development team at Facebook at the Oculus Connect yearly event held in September 2018, but there were rumors of the project far before this – except then, it was still being called by the codename Santa Cruz. While there are several VR headsets already on the market, there are a few things that make the Quest unique.
There have been many things holding virtual reality back from going further: The first is the fact that virtual reality headsets always need to be plugged into another carrier system, whether this is your smartphone or a computer you have set up. This leads to lag, and it means you have wires all over the place – and when it comes down to trying to immerse yourself in the middle of a VR experience, you’re still only hooked up to a VR headset in front of your computer, and it doesn’t feel like enough.
The Oculus Quest headset is all-in-one. There’s no need to plug the Quest into an external system, because the Oculus Quest is the system: Yes, it’s one of the first available standalone virtual reality headsets (We see you Pico Neo & Vive Focus!) – and the Quest has already shown to be extremely popular before its release, probably because of the Palo Alto hype-train that its riding on the coattails of lord Zuck himself.
How popular are we talking? In spite of a release that’s only planned for next year, they are reportedly already planning to ship a million pre-ordered units – and that’s just the first run.
The standalone design makes it especially popular above other options on the market, and it seems like this one might win the VR Headset Battle when it hits release.
It offers virtual reality that’s far more accessible – and doesn’t need a cumbersome external system to run.
Backwards compatibility is always an issue when designing new technology – what if content designed for older devices no longer work on the improved one? For an example of this, kids of the 90s can just think of the disaster that was caused by the PowerGlove.
You won’t have to worry about experiencing this problem with the Oculus Quest: They’ve already assured people that content produced for previous headsets (including the Rift) will still work on the Oculus Quest.
The Oculus Quest happens to have game developers just as excited as players, and many developers have already announced their support for the Quest. Just some of the titles that you can look forward to include the Star Wars title Vader Immortal, an exercise series that’s called Rave Runner, Beat Saber, Project Tennis Scramble – and we could even see titles like The Elder Scrolls: Blades come to the platform.
Many other game developers have also seen the potential here and are putting research into bringing their games to the Quest – including many e-sports developers, who are asking why the potential of virtual reality hasn’t been fully harnessed for people who want to watch e-sports games from home with a more immersive aspect.
The initial titles are already exciting – and only time will tell what else could be coming to the Virtual Reality world because of the release of the Quest.
Could we soon see Virtual Reality consultations happen between doctors and patients? With the Quest, we just might.
Check out the full keynote from Oculus Connect 5 with Zuckerberg himself below: