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Virtual Reality at the CES in Las Vegas

Sometimes the CES in Las Vegas requires full physical exertion. Four months have passed since Facebook subsidiary Oculus VR announced its third pair of virtual reality (VR) glasses, the Oculus Quest. At the edge of the CES, I was able to try out VR glasses for the first time in a hotel suite. At first glance, the Oculus Quest hardly differs in appearance from the Oculus Rift – if the cable connection to a computer were not missing. Because that is the big advantage of the Quest: as with the inexpensive model Oculus Go (from 219 Euro), all necessary calculations are done on the device.

In contrast to many other so-called stand-alone VR glasses, no smartphone is inserted into the glasses when you look at its screen. Instead, the Quest has a built-in display (1600 x 1440 pixels per eye), which I look at after putting on the glasses. Then I get two wireless controllers pressed into my hands, with which I can grab and move objects or fire weapons in the games.

All necessary sensors to determine the player’s position in space are integrated into the front of the glasses. Before playing with the quest, the area of the room in which the virtual environment is to be located must be defined once. When I try it out in the hotel suite, it’s a big carpet that I’m not allowed to leave. The computer graphics in front of my eyes turn into a grid if I get too close to the edge of the carpet – as a warning that I’m threatening to leave the game area.

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Great Quality

  1. The image quality is not only much better than those glasses that only work with a smartphone display, it is even sharper than the Oculus Rift.
  2. Nevertheless, I recognize the honeycomb structure of the screen, even if it is quite finely structured.
  3. The moment the first game starts, I’m distracted: I’m playing tennis! In the colorful world of “Tennis Scramble”, one of the first titles announced for the Quest, I play a match against a virtual opponent.
  4. As the game progresses, clubs and balls change, so I have to hit a beach ball with a tennis racket, then a golf ball with a baseball club. For this I swing the controllers as if I were holding the clubs in my hand, which of course I only see in the virtual world.

The ambition has gripped me and I win the match very close with 4:3 against the computer opponent. And while I was already warming up, the VR implementation of the game “Super Hot” is now really sweaty.

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I fight in a clinically white environment against red, robotic opponents. For this I grab weapons and fire at the attackers, grab objects and throw them at the opponent or simply hit them with my fist. So I fight my way through three or four levels and finally fail at the last one. As much as I duck away from enemy attacks, they always catch me. It’s so exhausting that I finally give up.

I take my glasses off my head and stand breathing heavily in the hotel suite in Las Vegas. The new Oculus Quest was great fun – especially because I was able to move freely in the room without any annoying wiring.

The glasses will be sold in spring and cost 399 dollars in the USA. Oculus has not yet revealed a price for the German market.