THE ‘OCULUS QUEST 2’ IS THE PERFECT GATEWAY TO A NEW REALITY Zuckerberg’s innovation poses more benefits than expected

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Meta’s new console poses several benefits, but can it beat out what traditional gaming consoles have to offer? Photo Credit: Maximilian Prandstätter

Rhamil Taguba

Virtual reality is nothing new. In fact, it’s been around since the 1960’s, when Ivan Sutherland created the Sword of Damocles, a huge, expensive, and seemingly inefficient contraption. Yet, the Oculus Quest 2, developed by Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, has reinvented the concept.

Ranking 4.7 stars on major retailers like Best Buy, the headset brings another world to the viewer, offering not just a 360* view but an improved kinetic experience. Although unveiled in late 2020, the Quest 2 still delivers an exceptional experience that seems overly surreal. Frankly, it’s worth the hefty price tag.

To start, it’s almost unbelievable how surreal the Oculus seems. Personally, it’s like teleporting into another world. The headset encapsulates your entire vision while keeping your head comfortable and secure. Some days I was dancing with a virtual robot and swinging him around, and other days I had life-sized jaguars running inches away from me. It felt like I could actually touch them through the screen, something other consoles don’t deliver.

But the most exciting part, and the main aspect of the Oculus’s innovation, is the gameplay. Combined with the excellent tracking of the head and hands, the Quest 2 is able to perfectly calculate your movements and sight to deliver an accurate gameplay, tauntingly comparable to “Ready Player One’s” OASIS system. For example, in “Gun Raiders,” you’re forced to actually take your guns out of your holster physically and hold it out like an actual gun. It delivers accuracy on a whole other scale, which makes it a unique and better experience.

It’s also the perfect opportunity to experience how it feels like to be somewhere else or even someone else. You can experience the world underwater or play as though you are the actual character in a game, not just controlling one. For instance, I could act and think like a smuggler fighting Darth Vader in “Vader Immortal” or Adonis Creed in “Creed: Rise to Glory.”

Personally, it’s actually benefiting in a way. Games such as “The Thrill to Fight” and exercise apps have actually motivated me to work out and exercise. I’ve recently found myself boxing in real time everyday, complete with push-ups and sit-ups to get me started. Exercise apps like this are actually motivating me to pursue more physical activity.

Not only does the Oculus provide physical benefits, but it’s also given me mental benefits. I find myself learning about marine biology or other cultures because of how intriguing it is to be put smack dab in the middle of such a different world.

I’m not saying all of this just to praise the Oculus, but its impact on gaming levels the playing field between the upcoming virtual reality scene and the overly dominant traditional consoles. A rise of virtual reality consoles like the PlayStation VR are on the market against popular platform and handheld consoles like the PS5 and Nintendo Switch. And while it may be hard for these consoles to ever surpass their competitors, the Oculus Quest has consistently been on the frontlines, establishing a moderate name for itself.

And maybe in the future, virtual reality might be able to jump out of gaming and into real-world applications. With Meta’s forefront technology, soon NASA might be able to use virtual reality on the Moon or maybe Mars.

However, not every simulator is flawless; in my first week of using it, it made me feel nauseous and tired. During “The Thrill to Fight,” I’ve found myself lying on the floor trying to catch a breath because of how mentally and physically intense it is.

It’s also hard to differentiate between realities when you spend two hours in one and you suddenly make a jump to another. Sometimes I feel dazed or stunned after taking the air-tight console off my eyes. And having an LCD display two inches from your face from a prolonged period of time is bound to start deteriorating your eyesight in the future. Plus, the conversation of kids having too much exposure to technology never dies out, especially with my parents.

Regardless, the Quest 2 offers much more than your typical VR headset. With it ranging from $200-300, the price is worth it when it comes down to the absolute joy and craziness the headset has to offer. I have high hopes for this new developing gaming platform, and the Oculus is definitely one of the kings in this new world.

Would you buy the Oculus Quest 2?