The Quest for Perfection

Not long ago, HTC released it’s new standalone headset, the Vive Focus Plus, home to a number of innovative ideas like the rotating-wheel head strap and the ability to turn on the camera by double clicking the power button (really helps when you’re looking for the controllers), and two integrated, more efficient remote as compared the standard Vive Focus. With solid HTC build quality, the Vive Focus Plus seems like a more refined product when compared to many other headsets in the industry.

But now, let’s make way for a new contender, especially in the standalone business. Oculus was never going to let HTC take all the glory, and let’s be honest, why should it, when it’s been in the game for much longer? And so, on May 21st, Oculus unveiled to the world, the Oculus Quest, the company’s first standalone headset, with a new design for the controllers as well.

The Oculus Quest.

Now while the Vive Focus Plus gave us a 3K AMOLED (2880×1600) display, 75Hz frame rate, inside-out tracking, a 4000mAh battery and 6DoF controllers, what does it’s new contender boast?

Well, for starters the Quest also features a 3K AMOLED display and newly designed, improved, 6DoF controllers. The new controllers have the distinguishable “loop” at the front end of the controller, rather than the back like on the Oculus Rift.

Oculus Quest’s new 6DoF controllers.

And the difference in frame rate isn’t a lot in both devices either, since both sport the Qualcomm . The Vive Focus Plus gives out 75Hz while the Quest produces 72Hz, which is barely noticeable. The focus also has a wider field-of-view, i.e. 110 Degrees, as compared to the Quest’s 100 Degrees. Again, that isn’t something one might call a game changer. The Quest, however features four cameras, mounted on the top and bottom, as compared to the two cameras mounted on the front of the Vive Focus Plus. These cameras, in both headsets, serve the purpose of inside-out tracking, which nullifies the purpose of an external tracker to be placed within the premises of the user.

Four dedicated cameras detect user’s surroundings.

As far as build quality is concerned, both headsets are made from solid, durable materials, and weight round about the same, with the Quest weighing a bit more than than the Vive Plus. However, the Quest still features the old velcro-straps for the head-grip, which can be a bit fiddly at times to adjust, especially once you’re already wearing the headset. The Vive Plus’ rotating-wheel adjustment method is much better, and probably the easiest as well. Both head sets feature in-built speaker phones, although the ones on the Quest are relatively louder. However, that shouldn’t worry you, since in the sound endeavor, the Quest has the upper hand, since it boasts a dedicated headphones jack, which the Vive Focus Plus simply does not have, and as far as true immersion goes, nothing beats a good old pair of headphones. The headset can get a tad uncomfortable at times because of the heavier weight, and adjustment with the velcro-straps again becomes quite a hassle. Also, various reviewers have complained that, although this time the nose holders are more comfortable, they leak a little light inside the headset, which disrupts the otherwise good display.

The Quest launches with an internal array of 14 launch titles, including Beat Saber and Vader, Immortal. All this pairs it up as a worthy contender for the HTC Vive Focus Plus, however, there is one key factor which gives Oculus a massive edge in this almost neck-and-neck race. The pricing. Now while HTC announced the Vive Focus Plus at a whopping $799, it’s worthy contender is priced at a mere $400, similar to a high-end gaming console. Now, considering these two devices have mostly the same specifications in display, GPU and hardware, the Oculus is half the price.

But both devices are still young, and both companies aim to improve them with newer and brighter software updates. The future is never certain, but for now, the Oculus Quest seems to be the most tapered and neatly finessed VR headsets on the market.