Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.—Arthur C. Clarke
Well, my Oculus Quest finally arrived on Friday, and this morning I set it up. I also downloaded my first app from the Oculus Store (VRChat), and tried that out. This is my report on my first-day experiences.
You need to have a cellphone with WiFi and Bluetooth enabled to set up your Quest. You will also need to download and install the Oculus app on your cellphone. I had installed mine three weeks ago, and I found that when I went into the Oculus App, only the Oculus Rift and Oculus Go were listed as options! So I had to delete and reinstall the app, and the second time I could select the Oculus Quest and begin setup.
Setup was relatively quick and easy. The biggest problem I had was finding a big enough space in my small apartment to play in! I decided to clear away all my unfolded laundry and create a suitable space in my bedroom.
The starting tutorials were very well-done, and I had a big grin on my face when I was dancing with the robot! Then, I loaded up the store and went looking for VRChat, and found and installed it.
VRChat on the Oculus Quest works the same way as it does on the Oculus Rift, and in no time I was up and running. I selected a portal to an avatar shop and picked out an anime avatar girl. I also visited Al’s Avatar Corridors, a popular and well-known avatar shop in VRChat, but I was disappointed to find that most of the selections would not work in an Quest environment.
When you encounter someone whose avatar is too complex to render for the Quest, their avatar is replaced with a grey robot which has “PC”: stamped on its chest. I predict that many Quest users of VRChat will soon realize that they are missing a LOT of what made VRChat so attractive in the first place, as they visit place after place where most of the other avatars are grey robots. Will that impact how popular VRChat is with Quest users? Perhaps. only time will tell. It could drive avatar creators to build lower-impact avatars, which could become a booming business.
All in all, my first morning was magical. There is a wonderful freedom associated with not having to worry about tripping over any wires! I do think that the Oculus Quest is going to prove very popular with consumers. I’m glad I got mine early, and I look forward to all the apps to come!