The Meta Quest 2 is a phenomenal VR gaming headset capable of providing a unique experience. Most VR headsets are expensive and require a computer or gaming console, but not Quest 2. This VR headset stands out because it works by itself and runs some pretty impressive games, despite relying on mobile phone technology.
However, Quest 2 isn’t perfect and is starting to show its age. Although the headset is only a few years old, VR technology is advancing rapidly. The good news is that a new Quest 3 headset is on the horizon, with new competitors also jumping in. So, sit back and get ready to learn everything you need to know about the Meta Quest 2 before purchasing.
What is the Meta Quest 2
The Oculus Quest 2 is an all-in-one VR headset and one of the most popular headsets on the market. The headset contains the necessary displays, computing hardware, and sensors that would otherwise be separate components. Putting all of this technology in a single package is extremely impressive but presents some unique challenges.
Quest 2 is part of the Facebook family of products, which explains the new Meta name. The company borrowed heavily from mobile phone technology, using Qualcomm processors and a system-on-chip design. The inspiration came from Oculus’s previous partnership with Samsung, where they developed headsets that relied on the Galaxy for processing power.
With mobile phone technology, Oculus can use the small components needed to fit inside the Quest 2 headset. But, the Quest 2 also runs on a heavily modified Android operating system with a unique interface. So many aspects of the Quest 2 must work together to create an exceptional user interface, but there are definitely some downsides to the headset.
The Meta Quest 2 has plenty of pros, but the number one reason that most people buy this headset is that it has an all-in-one design. The average person doesn’t have a powerful computer to run a VR headset like the HTC Vive or Valve Index. By creating a headset that doesn’t require another device to run it, Oculus has stood out.
Also adding to the attractiveness of the Quest 2 is that it does have a great price. The headset has an MSRP of $400 for the 128 GB model and $500 for the 256 GB model. Unfortunately, those prices are higher, thanks to hikes last year. But it still makes the Quest 2 one of the lowest-priced VR headsets on the market.
That doesn’t even account for the fact that the Quest 2 has a built-in computer to run it. In comparison, the PSVR 2 costs $550 and still requires a $400-$500 PlayStation 5. PC VR headsets don’t fair much better, with most approaching $1,000 or more and still needing a high-end gaming PC. But the Quest 2’s low price doesn’t come with a compromise in features.
Because the Quest 2 is quite affordable, many assume it is low-powered. The truth is it can run many of the same games as other devices. Not to mention, it doesn’t require base stations or room sensors. You also don’t need to plug it into power, as you can use the headset wirelessly.
Meta’s Quest 2’s display isn’t the best on the market and doesn’t hold a candle to new headsets like the PSVR 2. However, it is still very impressive, considering what other companies were using when the Quest 2 came out. Best of all, the annoying screen door effect, where you can see the individual pixels on display, is almost entirely gone.
Unfortunately, the Meta Quest 2 has some major negatives, mainly from being an all-in-one device. One of the most discussed annoyances with Quest 2 is that it is just uncomfortable. This is due to the poor head strap and the headset’s weight resting on your face.
Most headsets on the market do not have the number of components packed in as the Quest 2. Adding to the problem, other VR manufacturers use solid head straps that hold the displays away from the face. But the Quest 2 doesn’t do this and instead pulls the headset into the wearer.
But the worst comfort problem is that the Quest 2’s head strap is an elastic fabric that is hard to adjust. We previously mentioned Quest 2’s displays. While they are adequate for most users, they are not as good as other modern headsets. If you used an early VR headset like the Rift, then the Quest 2 is an enormous improvement.
However, the advertised 1,920 X 1,832 pixels per eye is on the low end for modern VR headsets. Another major limitation of the Quest 2 that surprised many early adopters is how limited it is. More specifically, it is almost impossible to repair or upgrade the Quest 2 outside of basics like the head strap. But worst of all, the memory is not upgradeable, and the Quest 2 doesn’t even hold an SD card.
What Can the Meta Quest 2 Do?
When most people think of VR headsets, the first thing that comes to mind is games. However, VR has a lot more to offer than video games. But even so, gaming is still a large part of the Quest 2 experience. Games like Beat Saber are simple but provide a fun challenge for those picking up a VR headset for the first time and seasoned pros alike.
Golf+ is another major title that’s popular with new Quest 2 owners. If you keep looking through titles in the Quest Store, it quickly becomes apparent that many of the Quest’s games are similar to the Nintendo Wii. The headset’s motion controls share some similarities with Wii’s motion controllers.
But unlike the Wii, the Quest 2 can do a lot more and do it in VR. Besides games from the Quest Store, you can also play PC games with a Link Cable. But even better is the headset’s streaming abilities which let you watch services like Netflix and YouTube. Some apps even allow other Quest 2 users to join so you can watch along.
Should You Buy the MetaQuest 2
Despite a number of downsides, the Quest 2 is still a solid choice if you are in the market for a VR headset today. However, several other VR headsets will come soon, including a Quest 3 and a headset from Apple. For some people, it will be worth waiting to see what these new headsets have to offer and if they are worth the added costs.
But in the meantime, the Quest 2 is still the best choice for most people. While its display and computing hardware are dated, nothing can compete with its price. The fact that you don’t need a high-end gaming computer or console puts it within reach for casual users. Just remember the Quest 2’s limitations and also replace the head strap.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Boumen Japet/Shutterstock.com.