Oculus Quest 2 vs Quest, a comparison of standalone VR hardware

Oculus Quest 2 vs Quest, a comparison of standalone VR hardware

Two weeks ago, Facebook released the Oculus Quest 2. The follow up to their incredibly popular Quest, a device that was sold out for much of its life. Coming in £100 lower than the original at a starting price of £299 for the 64Gb Model and £399 for 256Gb. The Quest 2 also becomes Oculus’ primary desktop class VR headset, the Rift S now a retired product.

Both devices share the same basic features. That means both are capable of standalone VR, and Facebook has stated that any new releases will be playable on both devices. The headsets use IR cameras built into the headset to track controllers and the players movements. Thanks to the Oculus link software it is also possible to play PC VR titles with the use of a USB 3 cable, however this is where the similarities end.

Design

Sporting a new matte white finish, the Quest 2 is slightly smaller than the original quest. At 191.5 mm x 142.5 mm x 102mm, the Quest 2 is an overall smaller device than the original Quests 221 x 193 x 104mm. The all plastic design of the Quest 2 also means it’s lighter, weighing in at 12% less than the original. Opting for a white finish gives the Quest 2 a brighter appearance, a stark contrast to the originals more subtle all black aesthetic.

A photo of the Quest 1 and Quest 2 side by side

The Quest 2 is around 10% smaller in size and weight

The original Quest does have a higher-quality soft touch casing that provides the device with a more premium feeling. Along with a more comfortable head strap and softer face cover it is clear to see where Facebook cut corners on the Quest 2 for the lower price. The new fabric head strap is still a comfortable fit however, although some may find it harder to make secure.

Performance

One area Facebook did not cut corners was the hardware. An increased resolution of 1832 x 1920 per eye means the Quest 2 has 50% increased resolution over its predecessor. Combined with the new 90Hz refresh rate the, visual quality of the Quest 2 is a marked improvement. The Quest 2 also comes with a more powerful chipset. Qualcomm boasts their Snapdragon XR2 will provide 2x better performance.

A comparison of VR graphics between the Quest 1, 2 and PC VR

Some games have been updated with enhanced graphics for the Quest 2 | Source:

Tyriel Wood

While both devices share the same game library, some titles have had graphical updates for the new hardware. Games like Arizona Sunshine now look marginally better on the Quest 2, though the difference is negligible when compared with PC graphics. Even without an update, games should still look better thanks to the increased resolution and refresh rate. Both headsets also support the Oculus Link software allowing them to play demanding PC VR titles.

Controllers

The controllers have also been redesigned to match the new white aesthetic of the Quest 2. Both controllers run on a single double AA battery and share the same layout. The second-gen controllers have a larger size with increased battery life, however over longer play periods the increased size can become uncomfortable to hold.

A comparison of the Quest 1 and Quest 2 controllers


The Quest 2 comes equipped with much larger controllers than it’s predecessor

When it came to haptics the original quest was lacking. This has been much improved with the Quest 2. Now when playing games stronger vibrations can be felt in response to your actions, leading to more satisfying gameplay. This also makes it much clearer when games are reacting to your actions, an integral part of VR gaming.

Final Thoughts

There are a few areas in which Facebook has not made any changes. The battery life for both devices is around 2-3 hours depending on the type of game being played. Oculus’ hand tracking feature also works on both, with no updates being made to the Quests VR tracking capabilities. One unfortunate consequence of Facebook acquiring Oculus is that now a Facebook account has to be linked before the Quest 2 can be used. Some users may be worried about what Facebook is doing with the data it collects, and for those there are alternatives.

As with most technology the previous generation Quest can be found second hand online for a heavily discounted price. This is still a good choice for those on a budget, or wary of privacy. At £300 the Quest 2 is a compelling purchase however, with specs to match headsets double its price. As next generation consoles begin releasing, Facebook is hoping that the low cost of this all in one VR experience will be enough to tempt buyers.

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