Immerse yourself in strange worlds, virtual reality glasses are arriving in the mass market. The first recommended wireless VR glasses, exciting and entertaining content such as Stormland or Half-Life: Alyx and finally affordable prices, help. We put together all relevant VR systems for you, including our impressions from the respective tests and an outlook. In the video you can see the test of the wireless Oculus Quest.
Virtual reality glasses: More than just a gamer's tool
Virtual reality and gaming go well together. VR-optimized games are the drivers of the new technology. With the PlayStation VR, Sony has already been able to prove that high quantities are possible in sales. With titles like Farpoint and Resident Evil 7Sony and its partners have also succeeded in bringing real VR cracker onto the market that go far beyond the title of "tech demo".
But Sony now has strong competition with the Oculus Rift S and especially with the self-sufficient Oculus Quest. You don't need a console or a gaming computer for the Quest to immerse yourself in virtual reality. Simply put on the headset and there are plenty of good and exclusive gaming titles to choose from. In addition to the mobile quest, the gaming giant Valve, known for its half-life games and the game platform Steam, is now also playing, a leading role.
The in-house VR glasses "Valve Index" not only impress with their excellent resolution and a large field of vision. VR gamers around the world are also impressed by the innovative index controllers.
On the PC, however, the possibilities for VR go far beyond gaming. In particular, edutainment such as realities.io or Google Earth VR promise entertainment and knowledge in equal measure. Even the adult entertainment industry is taking advantage of VR. Serious providers such as Reality Lovers are tapping into a new target group with VR erotic videos and also building a bridge to gaming.
Parodies like "Aloy's Refuge", based on the PS4 hit Horizon Zero Dawn, are the first crossover attempts. It is also an open secret that the adult industry and the standards established there often have a decisive influence on the success of technologies.
The already tested almost all relevant consumer VR systems in the following we present the most important key data and our assessment of whom which system is well suited.
The best of both worlds: Oculus Quest
With the Oculus Quest, Facebook brought its second, completely self-sufficient VR glasses onto the market. Powered by a smartphone processor, the Quest doesn't need any cables or a powerful gaming computer to still offer high-quality VR.
- Wireless VR
- Very good black levels
- Very good inside-out tracking
- Good resolution
- Optional link cable for PC-VR
- Somewhat unbalanced
- 72 Hz refresh rate only
With the Oculus Quest, which appeared in mid-2019, Facebook launched its second, completely self-sufficient VR glasses. Powered by a Snapdragon 845 smartphone processor, the Quest doesn't need any cables or a powerful gaming computer to still offer high-quality VR.
The apps and games optimized for the Oculus Quest are graphically rather simple, but can still look very appealing. Because a good VR illusion relies above all on a fluid recording of head and controller movements. The actual “inside-out” tracking, i.e. tracking without external sensors, is carried out by four black and white cameras.
The OLED panels offer very good black and thus also contrast values. The integrated sound is surprisingly good and does not completely isolate VR beginners from the rest of the environment. For adventure games, however, it is worth using the gaming headset, which can be easily connected using the jack port.
Before you get started, the play area must first be determined and Oculus has more than succeeded in doing that. The whole thing is called the “Guardian System”, which is used to set up a safe two-by-two-meter area in which nothing should be within striking range. But: the more space, the better. Otherwise you just don't have enough space to move around. To set it up, you simply go through the area with the controller in hand and the software does the rest.
The Oculus Quest also offers two very cool features: On the one hand, the headset supports experimental hand tracking. Selected apps or games can be controlled without a controller. On the other hand, the headset can be connected to a gaming computer via a USB Type-C cable. High-end VR games can also be played on the Quest using the so-called Oculus Link - provided a powerful gaming computer is available.
The main disadvantage of the Quest is that it is not very comfortable to carry. Because all the technology has to be located in the front panel, the headset is quite top-heavy and presses uncomfortably on the face during longer VR sessions.
Who is the system aimed at?
Simply put on the VR headset and head to the Oasis and this is currently only possible with the Oculus Quest. The VR headset convinces as a very good overall package consisting of intuitive operation, beginner-friendly equipment and a good price-performance ratio. The optional cable connection in particular turns the Quest into VR glasses that combine the best of self-sufficient VR fun and wired high-end VR gaming à la Half-Life: Alyx.