Thursday, November 26, 2020
Science

Best consumer VR yet comes with a serious warning

Best consumer VR yet comes with a serious warning
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The ageing Snapdragon 835 processor has been swapped out for Qualcomm’s shiny new XR2 chip, which is essentially a VR-optimised version of the Snapdragon 865 chip found on top tier flagship smartphones.

A few games at launch are already taking advantage of the XR2 chip with higher resolution textures, more detailed character models, enhanced particle effects and better lighting for heavy hitter titles like The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners and Arizona Sunshine. I was surprised at how close these two titles in particular looked in comparison to their more powerful PC-based VR versions.

The Quest 2 comes with wireless controllers, and can connect to a PC to play more demanding games.

There are now more than 200 titles available on the Quest and, if you have a capable enough PC, you can tap into an even larger library of PC-based VR titles by tethering your Quest 2 with a high speed USB 3.0 cable.

I tested out Star Wars: Squadrons, which is a title that demands to be played in VR for the best experience, and it felt just as convincing as it did on my dedicated PC VR headset.

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The bad news is that the Oculus Quest 2 — and all future Oculus devices for that matter — now require a valid Facebook account to function, which opens a Pandora’s box of issues. For one, it means consenting to Facebook’s data policy and granting the social media giant the right to monitor your VR activity for the purposes of targeted advertising.

Facebook also has the power to ban and suspend users based on individual behaviour platform-wide, both in and outside of the headset. This means that if you don’t play by its rules or attempt to use a fake Facebook account or one that doesn’t match your real name, you will be locked out of your headset. Access to past games and content purchases will be disabled, turning the Quest 2 into an expensive paperweight.

No less than a few days after release, some users have already reported having their Facebook account banned, barring them entry to their shiny new headsets. So buyer beware.

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