Welcome to The MH Wish List, where Men’s Health editors highlight the coolest gear they’ve tested this year that make for the perfect gift this holiday season. If you’re looking for the latest and greatest tech, home, and fitness goods, we’ve got you covered for everyone on your list. This week, Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel breaks down why the Oculus Quest 2 is worth your hard-earned money.
It’s 10:30 on a Saturday morning, and honestly, it’s been a long week. And I’m not in the mood to stare at TV, and not in a mood to go train (just yet!). So I need something different, a different world to escape to.
So instead of picking up a controller, I don a giant white headset, the Oculus Quest 2. Then I grab the two hand controllers, wrap their bands around my wrists, and instantly, I’m in. I explore the world of Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge first, and later, I wander around the Just Cause-like world of Population: One. Truth is, I don’t exactly progress far in either game, because just wandering and being able to turn my head without thinking is joyful fun. It’s as easy as gaming on the PlayStation or Xbox, and boots up just as quickly, too.
And the truth is it’s all fun because of the fluidity of the Oculus Quest 2 headset, a stunningly affordable unit at just $299. Here’s the thing with VR: It used to be clunky. I’ve used everything from Samsung’s headsets to Google’s headsets to PlayStation’s souped up PSVR (the only virtual reality unit that has you flying around like Iron Man), and they’ve all had their good points. But until the Quest 2, VR has always felt ever-so-slightly clunky.
During various stages of virtual reality’s rise, I’d have to put on a headset, and then don a pair of headphones on top of that headset. Or I’d have a headset on, and have to be cautious of my movements because I was dealing with a wire attached to the headset, and the slightest wrong movement might very well yank my PC or laptop into the ground. Older VR units also had visual shortcomings, pixellated images landing in front of my eyes that made me downright dizzy. I’ll never forget going to E3, the old Electronics Entertainment Expo, playing through a Resident Evil demo on an older model headset, and never completing the game because a stabbing headache left me in a heap.
None of that’s a problem on the Quest 2. Star Wars is beautiful. Older games, like Job Simulator, shine in crystal-clear clarity, too. And it all happens without the need for headphones or some other sound solution, thanks to sound built right into the Quest 2 headset itself. The controllers are also hyper-responsive. And the headset itself works just about anywhere: Put it on, work through a few prompts so it can find a playable area around you, and you’re good to go.
It’s a magical, efficient escape from reality, the escape you’ve been dying for, easily letting you access worlds out of your imagination. And it can be more than that, too. Tired of sharing your Netflix screen with people who’ve already watched every episode of Daredevil? Catch up in private on the Quest 2, without anyone interrupting your experience or immersion in every fight scene. And when you want deeper, more involved gaming (say, a run through The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim or Fallout VR), the Quest 2 is more than up to the task. Just grab an Oculus Link cable and wire into a compatible PC, and your PC can handle all the heavy lifting while you enjoy relaxed gaming.
It all leaves you set to enter any and every world you want to. And in a year when everyone could use an escape, that’s something worth enjoying.
The Oculus Quest 2 is available at oculus.com, amazon.com, and gamestop.com now.
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