Meta Quest 2: Metaverse glasses in practice

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 bezels and controllers look classy.

Facebook’s parent company Meta is convinced: the future of the internet lies in virtual reality – this is also one of the reasons for the Facebook group’s renaming to “Meta Platforms” in October 2021. Mark Zuckerberg , founder and CEO of Meta, has high hopes for this. metaverse.
But what is the metaverse and what does virtual reality (VR) have to do with it? Beneath the Metaverse, Zuckerberg imagines an artificial, virtual reality in which people meet, play and work. It should exist alongside physical reality, but also enclose the real world. The Metaverse should have its own economy, and concerts and sporting events should also take place there. The Meta Quest 2 is the access ticket to this virtual world.

The first steps with glasses

Unlike other VR glasses, the Meta Quest 2 works independently – it doesn’t need a smartphone, gaming PC or game console as a base. In addition to the VR glasses, Meta Quest 2 includes two controllers. Practical: The system operates entirely wirelessly. A USB-C cable is only needed to charge the battery.
Meta Quest 2 controllers

The controllers each offer three buttons, two shoulder buttons, and an analog stick.

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

If you want, you can also open a mobile office with the glasses. In the future, people will work together and hold conferences in “Horizon Workrooms”. Here, users digitally recreate their desktop and stream their monitor onto the virtual screen. Up to three screens can be used on the Digital Workplace. Working with Excel or Word, for example, works without any problems on screens.

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!

But the games weren’t fun to watch. Muddy textures, stiff animations and few effects clouded the impression. It is not due to the resolution of the lenses. Is the processor not fast enough after all? Or is the software just not good enough? However, it still lacks a real high-level game. The Quest 2 is therefore not an alternative to PlayStation VR.
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Warning: People who suffer from vertigo should stay away from “The Climb 2”.

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Weak knees are guaranteed on virtual climbing tours.

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.

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