Oculus Quest – What is it and should you wait to buy one?
While we were exhibiting at Salesforce’s Dreamforce, just down Highway 101 Facebook was hosting its annual Oculus Connect (“OC5”) event. The big news was the upcoming 2019 release of the Oculus Quest headset. It’s a powerful standalone headset, meant to be part Oculus Go (mobile, all-in-one) and part Oculus Rift (powerful, six degrees of freedom).
Anyone that follows InstaVR knows we are huge fans of the Oculus Go. The headset, released in May, is mobile, immersive, easy-to-use, and relatively affordable. For many of our clients, particularly those in sales/marketing or training, it’s the perfect headset.
But it wasn’t surprising we heard the following question over the last two weeks from a number of different people: Should I buy Oculus Gos now or wait until 2019 for the Oculus Quest?
We’ll try to explore that in-depth is this post…
- What is the Oculus Quest?
- What are the use cases for Oculus Quest?
- Should you wait to purchase the Oculus Quest?
If you have any specific questions, or would like to learn more, reach out to our Support team via the Live Chat button or email us!
What is the Oculus Quest?
Oculus Quest is a standalone, mobile, powerful VR headset with two hand controllers & six degrees of freedom (ie positional tracking). Expected to be released in Spring 2019, the headset — originally dubbed “Santa Cruz” — is expected to retail for $399.
So what makes the Quest worth the 2x cost of the Oculus Go?
The most obvious answer is the spatial tracking built into the headset. Unlike the Rift, you don’t need to set up cameras in a room to convey your physical position to the headset. In that respect, the Quest truly is special. Whereas the Go allows you to look up-down-left-right, the Quest lets you physically “move” around the VR space. This is particularly important for certain apps, but not important at all for others (more on that below).
Let’s quickly look at the Pros and Cons of the Oculus Quest, with special focus on the Quest vs. Go.
- Six degrees of freedom — a true VR experience without the tethering to a computer required by the Oculus Rift.
- Powerful — has a built-in Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. This level of power is probably more applicable to gamers than most of our users, but does help power high quality video.
- Strong Visuals and Audio — like the Go, has built-in Speakers that reportedly deliver solid audio. Also, each eye delivers 1,600 x 1,440 pixels, a meaningfully more crisper visual than the Go. (ie more “lifelike”)
- Price – At $399, it’s 2x the Go, which only makes sense to pay if you’re going to need and use the additional features, such as higher resolution and 6 Degrees of Freedom.
- Spring 2019 ship date – Oculus was a little late on the expected release date of the Go. Do you really want to wait potentially 6+ months?
What are the Use Cases for the Oculus Quest?
A powerful mobile VR headset has a LOT of use cases. Most of the early reviews focus on game play, and how the built-in location sensors and hand controllers allow you to be a VR gamer everywhere.
The location independent nature of Oculus Quest use is quite valuable. At this point, it’s likely Oculus Rift and HTC Vive tethered versions will no longer be a focus of these respective companies.
But for InstaVR clients, who aren’t focused on gaming, these are the main reasons you might consider waiting and buying an Oculus Quest.
You’re Creating Very High-Quality VR Videos – The Quest, like the larger version of Go, comes with 64 GB of storage. That’s more than enough to load a number of very high-quality VR video experiences on the headset. At this point, most of our advanced clients are filming and rendering 4K video for the Go. But with the new Insta360 Pro, you can film AND display in 8K, and the Quest would be the perfect venue for showcasing that level of clarity.
You Highly Value the Comfort/Fit/Look of the Headset – Out of OC5, there were a lot of gushing reviews of the design of the Oculus Quest. It does look like a more professional, futuristic headset than the Go. And the two hand controllers are more intelligent and have better form factor than the Go’s. So if look/feel of the headset are very important — say it’s for a sales presentation — than you might be get some extra mileage out of using a Quest over a Go.
You’re Creating CGI (or Filming Specifically) for Room Scale/6 Degrees of Freedom – If you have the hardware or software to capture 360 3D media that can be displayed in a 6 Degrees of Freedom environment, than you should by all means be showing it on something like a Quest or Vive Focus. They’re just a lot more convenient than the existing Rift and Vive that are tethered. Even if you own a Rift or Vive, for travel and presentation purposes it very likely will be worth it to invest the $399 in a mobile counterpart headset.
Should You Wait to Purchase the Oculus Quest?
Maybe. But for most of our clients, likely not.
If you’re filming in 4K, not capturing “room scale” VR, and just want a mobile, immersive, powerful headset, the Oculus Go will probably meet your needs. And at half the price, you can buy twice as many Gos!
About this time last year, clients were asking us if they should purchase Samsung Gear VRs or wait for the Oculus Go. Then, the answer was a little more nuanced.
Gear VRs require a $700 Samsung phone, are prone to overheating, and have significant battery drain. But they were the best mobile headset on the market at the time. The all-in-one Oculus Go was — and is — a significant step forward over Gear VR in terms of both software and hardware (ie built-in speakers).
The Quest is definitely a step forward over the Go… better resolution, 6 degrees of freedom, better processor. BUT, for the media most of our clients are churning out right now, the Go is probably going to fit their needs.
Given the fairly reasonable prices, it might make sense to buy a couple Oculus Gos now and then an Oculus Quest in the Spring. But to wait possibly six months without any headset doesn’t make a lot of sense for the vast majority of our clients.