Today we are seeing the high and low range of VR headsets when we planted the Oculus Quest 2 against the valve index.
Virtual reality has come a long way over the years; if you’ve finally decided to make the leap to virtual reality, you’ve chosen a great time to do so. The graphics are better than ever, there are now a plethora of videos, apps and games to choose from and technology has advanced to the point of enjoying intricate experiences and huge, detailed worlds instead of simple technological demonstrations.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re using one of the latest VR headsets, which is why we’re looking at the Oculus Quest 2 (first launched in 2020) and the Valve Index (2019). They are two very different RV proposals with their own pros and cons, as you will see.
Are you worried about investing money in a new technology just so that the support disappears in a few months? In the case of these two headphones, you should not do so. Oculus, created specifically for virtual reality, was acquired by Facebook in 2014. Valve is the company behind Steam, the PC software distribution platform that is incredibly successful. Both companies know what they are doing when it comes to technology, and neither is in danger of running out of money soon.
Oculus Quest 2 vs Valve Index: Design
In a way, Oculus Quest 2 is the virtual reality experience you might have dreamed of as a child. Completely wireless and without the need to plug into a PC to run, you’re ready to get out of the box. The headset is surprisingly lightweight, which ensures it is comfortable to wear even for extended sessions. It also includes an easy-to-adjust eyeglass separator for those who have specifications that don’t want to scratch VR lenses (or, in fact, our glasses).
The minimalist design of the controllers can raise eyebrows, but they are intuitive and live up to the task of any game or application. However, unless you get extra money for the “elite” version of the strap, fitting headphones is a tricky affair that allows you to go with a buckle-style loop. Very good if you are the only one who will use it, annoying if you want to share the wonder of virtual reality with friends and family.
The valve index has a top headband strap, with a dial for easy adjustment or loosening. There is also a second dial that moves the lenses closer or farther from your eyes, the first indication that this is a luxury kit. The second indication is that the controllers, which at first glance look similar to those in Quest 2, can track the movement of individual fingers. The number of games and apps that support this is relatively small, but it’s an impressive innovation.
Still, the valve index is the polar opposite of Quest 2’s collection and gaming experience. It does nothing on its own, depending on a computer or laptop with the software (and specifications) needed to work. Also, as room-sized headphones, you need enough space in your play area to place physical base stations so that headphones can see them. The movement tracking is very impressive, but you have to work on it.
Winner: Oculus Quest 2
Oculus Quest 2 vs. Valve Index: Specifications
Surprisingly, the Quest 2, significantly cheaper, offers a higher resolution per eye, with 1832 x 1920 per eye compared to the 1440 x 1600 of the valve index. After that, even though both headphones are capable of displaying 120 Hz, Valve’s offering is starting to pull off with few problems.
The index offers a best-in-class field of view (more important than the resolution for many VR users) of 130 degrees compared to the 89 degrees of Quest 2. In addition, the 12 GB memory of the Index is the double that of Quest 2 and the use of base stations, although difficult to set up, results in excellent space and motion detection. The end result is a luxury VR experience.
Winner: Valve Index
Oculus Quest 2 vs Valve Index: Cost
There are no two ways: it’s an easy win for Oculus Quest 2. The cheapest version is $ 299/299 pounds, and the more expensive version (with 256GB of storage instead of 128GB) is $ 399 / 399 pounds. You will get absolutely everything you need to get started in the box.
The valve index offers a luxury experience for what it means at a luxury price. A package with everything you need (headphones, drivers and base stations) will allow you to retrieve a $ 999 / GBP 919 wallet. At least you get critical acclaim Half Life: Alyx including …
Winner: Oculus Quest 2
Oculus Quest 2 vs Valve Index: Exclusive Games
All Oculus Quest 2 games are downloaded from the Oculus store. Although many previous exclusives have been taken to other formats since the release, such as the Star Wars experience in three parts He seems immortal, a small number remains. Another Star Wars title, for example, Tales from the edge of the galaxy, is (for now, at least) an Oculus exclusive. The future zero-gravity multiplayer sports title VR shooting is a fun, exclusive and free Oculus.
As external hardware-dependent headphones, the valve index allows you to access the large number of PCVR games available. Specifications are limited only by the hardware you have connected it to, so theoretically there is no RV game out of reach (as long as your machine is powerful enough). You may not get these exclusive Oculus, but to be honest, it doesn’t mean a huge loss.
Winner: Valve Index
Oculus Quest 2 vs. Valve Index: Verdict
Both headphones shine in different ways. If money (and space) is not the object, the valve index is certainly the way to go, as it offers the most impressive experience on the market. While Oculus Quest 2 isn’t far behind, it can also be connected to a PC or laptop to work as a PCVR headset if you pay more for a relevant cable (or if you can secure your WiFi). Pay close attention to the requirements of the Oculus Link specifications and compatible graphics cards.
In general, the benefits of the valve index are simply not enough to justify the huge price difference, so we would recommend going with Oculus Quest 2. Keep in mind that linking your Facebook account is mandatory and if you decide delete it for any reason, you are also deleting all Oculus purchases. If you’re okay with that and there are a lot of people, then welcome to the world of virtual reality.