Facebook brings its virtual worlds to Germany: After two years, the Federal Cartel Office has approved the sale of the Meta Quest 2 VR glasses. Is VR finally taking off? Thanks to high-performance technology, the Quest 2 (from 449 euros – as of December 20, 2022) is suitable not only for gaming, but also for virtual concerts or work. COMPUTER BILD has tested what remains of the promise in practice.
Now also legally available
The Meta Quest 2 has been available in Germany since the beginning of December 2022. Quite late. The VR glasses have actually been available worldwide since October 2020. However, the Federal Cartel Office stopped sales in Germany because the glasses could only be used with a Facebook account. According to the Federal Cartel Office, the American group could seriously harm competition. So why the green light now? Meta introduced the Meta account in August 2022. Now the link to Facebook is no longer required, but users connect an additional Meta account to the Meta Quest 2. The authorities were satisfied with this and Meta started selling the VR glasses in this country. In addition to the Meta Quest 2, the more expensive Meta Quest Pro (from 1,800 euros – as of December 20, 2022) is available in Germany.
The first steps with glasses
The glasses are attached to the head with an elastic headband. A secure fit is important because if the glasses don’t fit properly, the image gets blurred and is more likely to cause motion sickness, ie nausea or headaches. In the hands-on test, the goggles sat securely and comfortably after adjusting the headband and lenses. There was no motion sickness or profuse sweating during the test. Setup is simple: the user connects the glasses to a Meta, Facebook or Instagram account and to the Meta app using a smartphone. Here we go.
Virtual Worlds 1: Cinema in VR
The lenses offer a resolution of 1832×1920 pixels. The refresh rate is 90, with some apps even 120 frames per second. Is it enough to watch sharp movies with glasses? After all, streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime or YouTube run on VR glasses. The user then sees the films, series or videos on a virtual screen, similar to that of a cinema. In testing, the display appeared crisp and smooth. However, the glasses cannot handle 4K movies. Nothing stands in the way of a virtual movie night.
Virtual Worlds 2: Mobile Office
Particularly practical: controllers are superfluous in the app, at first the glasses scan the hands and then display them virtually. The Metas VR workstation offers a lot of comfort and innovation as well as easy operation.
Virtual Worlds 3: VR Games!
The integrated Snapdragon XR2 processor should provide enough performance for today’s games. But does the quest also convince as an alternative to the virtual console? COMPUTER BILD tried two titles as an example. In “The Climb 2”, the player scales steep cliffs or tall buildings. In fact, there were real heart palpitations in the climbing game watching from the virtual steep wall – here VR is unbeatable. In the second game “Eleven Table Tennis”, it’s time to duel with other players at the ping pong table. Controller motion control is used here. The user moves as if playing table tennis and the controller replaces the racket. Anyone who’s ever played with a Nintendo Wii knows how things work. It’s really fun!
And how long does the battery last?
In the test, the glasses lasted just over two hours with continuous play. After about three hours the glasses were ready for use again. That’s enough for a virtual game night, but not for an eight-hour workday.
Meta Quest 2 is fun – and can do more than play. For movies and the office, it replaces TVs and large screens. The comfort of the glasses is high and the motion control works very well. There are still no real best games and apps that will draw you into the Metaverse in the long run. And the battery could last longer. All in all, the VR glasses are a classy device with a lot of potential, but not yet a revelation for virtual reality. It remains to be seen whether Facebook miscalculated its billion-dollar project. It also depends on the number of developers who dive into the world of virtual reality.