Oculus just announced two VR headsets — the Oculus Quest and Rift S — that cost $399. Both headsets are designed to make good VR gaming a lot more affordable. The two headsets can be pre-ordered now and will begin shipping on May 21st.
The Oculus Rift S ($399+) is the more sophisticated of Oculus’s two new VR headsets. It’s the same price as the Quest and requires a PC connection, and thus a wired connection, to work. It’s not very portable, but it’s a solid VR headset with good graphics; it also can access the same library of games as the Rift.
The Oculus Quest ($399+) is definitely the more exciting of the two — at least for beginners. It’s a standalone VR headset, meaning you don’t need a compatible PC or console to use it. It delivers a fully immersive virtual reality experience with six degrees of freedom — you can move forward and backward, left or right, jump up or bend down. When you turn the headset on, it instructs you to create a virtual barrier (called a Guardian) that requires a minimum of three by three feet of space. From there, you can play VR games while walking around within the confines of the virtual barrier.
The Quest isn’t perfect, even on paper. It doesn’t have a large catalog of games and its graphics aren’t as good as the Rift or the Rift S. But it’s still a respectable headset with a few fun features — including the option cast your virtual experience to an Oculus mobile app or to a TV so that others can laugh at you while you’re slashing virtual cubes in Beat Saber.
At launch, there are 50 games that are available on the Quest. According to Oculus, these games “run the gamut from fast-paced shooters to pass-and-play social games.”