The Upgrade

Oculus Quest Is VR for Normal People

The $399 headset is worth the splurge

Lance Ulanoff
Published in
10 min readApr 30, 2019
Photo: Lance Ulanoff

I’m in a cage of my own making. I drew the boundaries, and now a glowing aqua ring surrounds me and rises into infinity.

This virtual cage — or “Guardian” — is part of the Oculus Quest’s new boundary system. It’s designed to keep me from walking into walls and furniture while I explore new worlds with Facebook’s standalone virtual reality headset, which is out next month and costs $399.

The Quest is a standalone Oculus, meaning it requires no external tracking system for positional awareness of your head, hands, and body. It’s more powerful than the Oculus Go ($199) and comes with a pair of Oculus Touch controllers, just like those you’d use with a full Oculus Rift setup.

Oculus Quest definitely raises the bar.

The Quest launches alongside a new Rift S system, also $399, but like previous virtual reality setups, it requires a reasonably powerful PC to run. While the Quest is a step below the Rift S in terms of image and content quality, it’s clearly a next-level VR experience compared to previous standalone headsets. It could go a long way toward converting skeptics who haven’t had the opportunity to try “full” VR with motion controls. If you’re looking for a new gadget to splurge on, this may be it.

You get the same pair of controllers as you would with the Oculus Rift S. Photo: Lance Ulanoff

Going virtual

Oculus continues to refine the overall consumer VR experience, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Oculus Quest setup. You’ll need to use an iPhone or Android app for initial setup, which includes account creation (or, if you prefer, logging in with Facebook) and guiding the system to use a Wi-Fi network. It’s a pretty quick process, save for a required firmware update that occurred shortly after connecting the Oculus Quest to the internet.

A speaker’s hidden here.



Lance Ulanoff

Tech expert, journalist, social media commentator, amateur cartoonist and robotics fan.