… Quest Day 4 – first Loot …

Today I just spend a short while as my couch trained muscles decided they still need more rest.

So I went in with just a single round of Beat Saber (almost beat my own record) and then jumped into Sports Scramble.

But before I did that I first added a couple of accessoires that arrived today in the mail!

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The first was a Carplink Silicon Mask because I wanted something that is easier to clean! At 14.99€ it was not exactly cheap, but right now there are not that many offerings and I am quite pleased with it. Snugs right on and I wasn’t even forced to remove the inside mask. But replacement takes too long to do in a demo setting for every user – so cleaning them with an anti-bacterial wipe seems like the best way to go. Also reduced the nose light leak a bit, but not entirely.

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You can buy it here in Germany from Amazon (I don’t get a dime!):

The second was a controller cover that was supposed to add an Index like ability to let go of the controller. It was 18.99€ and went into the return process of Amazon right away because the strap was too small and the holder (blue circle) was not connected to the base in a reliable manner, so pulling it tight with just one hand was not possible and the second hand needed was kinda busy.
Complete design failure and I won’t even share the link.

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Instead I ordered an alternative for 24.99€ that should arrive tomorrow:


The Sport Scramble demo was kind of fun, though I did feel it could give me a tennis arm even without the need of a physical racket. Not sure it would be good for my joints as my movements where nowhere near as smooth as with beat saber and I didn’t dare to step to the side a lot in my limited Playspace.

But the real game breaker for me was a game mechanic where you get a new ball or racket replacement when a mario kart style random item box was hit. This happens constantly and instead of just instant switch your ball/racket it goes into an animation to pick your random new thingie that breaks the gameflow.
It really took the fun out of what could have otherwise been a cool game to me. I do see a ton of potential in ball/racket games in VR though!

That’s it. I would have loved to play a lot more Beat Saber today. Given that I am still in the “need a perfect run in the demo” phase I believe the full version could be a serious fitness asset to me!

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I am actually quite excited for the LINK cable from Oculus. It is a bit pricey for a cable at $79 (which will be likely a hundred Euro here in Germany), but I am told it is super leightweight and not comparable to usual HMD cables.

So if you are excited as well, you might want to visit here and subscribe with your email to get notified when there is news!

… the elder Quest (day 3) …

I wasn’t up to play even a single round of Beat Saber! My legs hurt and asked me politely not to play today.

But I took it to my parents and first set it up in our mobile home garage where there is a ton of space … and it worked just fine!
Sadly the Wifi signal there was too weak and it was too cold for my parents (both sick with a cold) to really jump in.

So I moved it to the home cinema and after moving a few things out of the way the setup once more went super smooth. They really have perfected that part.

So my dad went in and played through the first steps app (which took something like half an hour or so) as well as 2 rounds of Beat Saber (after which he was actually sweating a bit).
Overall the introduction is done well enough to guide a 68 year old through the process – but he still needed a bit of help with the grab/middle finger button. He is used to playing FIFA on the Xbox 360 with my nephews, but the concept of a middle finger button confused him. It took a bit of trial and error until the pickup and release worked well, but then the fun of exploring the gimmicks and tossing paper airplanes clearly took over.

On the not so fun side I failed to get the screen cast to my smartphone. Which really is annoying and makes watching someone toss cubes in VR for 5 minutes a bit boring.

Trying out the casting in a solo experimentation mode is complicated by the headset turning off all the time – need to cover the sensor for the next round of experiments.
I suspect that, again, the wifi was too weak at the location!
Need to fix the wifi coverage as there are not that many spots in the house that I can turn into a VR zone.

… the Quest continues (day 2) …

… first let me say that day 1 left me with a lot of muscle aches. Being a big dude the whole leg work during Beat Saber is noticeable the day after. Still managed to break my record of the prior day on the first try today.

And you start to notice a couple of flaws. For example the controller representations in the home environment do not reflect what you are doing with them. You can press the trigger or tilt the stick and the controller representation stays static … that is a bit disappointing.

And when I enter the headset I better do it at the playing position, because otherwise Beat Saber expects me to play where I put the headset on and that is not always ideal.
I guess I need to check how to center the game – just trial and error did not reveal the solution.
[the solution – keep the right Oculus button pressed!]
But I just put the headset on near my optimal center position.

What I do love is that I just need to take the headset off and then put it a few hours later on and it snaps back into the game as if I left just a minute ago. That is seriously low friction and I love it.

journey of the gods

I also picked the Journey of the Gods demo to try out today and it was a great experience that I especially loved because it allowed a first person as well as a miniature top down view of the world.
It is also quite apparent that the rendering resolution of this game is lower than the screen resolution, as text is a bit hard to read at some points. Not a deal breaker, but I would lie if I had not noticed the visual degradation a bit.

Playing a game like that standing reminded me of the first days of playing Half Life 2 on the DK1 and how I felt when playing it standing. But I ignored the comfort settings, my VR legs these days are strong enough to handle it. Still need to get used to turning with my body (don’t like the snap turn via controller), there is a part of my brain that constantly wants to keep the tether unentangled.

Tomorrow I will send my parents in and am quite curious how well they will do!

Going on a Quest …

“Setup requires an iPhone (iOS 10 or higher) or Android (6.0 Marshmallow or higher) smartphone …”
Source: https://www.oculus.com/setup/#quest-setup

September 25th … almost night.

How could they do this to me? I already had the Oculus App on my good old Note 4 because I used the GearVR with it. That was a long time ago, but I expected to be good here. Sadly my AT&T phone was never updated to an Android beyond 4.4.4.
And the Oculus app is gone on the phone as well and it is no longer shown in the  Playstore on my Note 4 as my device is not supported.

And so there now is an Oculus Quest sitting in front of me that neither my Note 4 nor my iPad 3 are capable of connecting to.

I was annoyed. It was hidden in the fine print and I paid no attention. I guess I split the annoyance between “with myself” and “with Oculus”. Afterall I still don’t see what my Note 4 is lacking to work with the Quest.

There is no easy way out – ordering a cheap Smartphone on Amazon, a UMIDIGI A3, should solve the problem without impacting my budget too much at 70€. I am still too happy with my Note 4 to get a more expensive one yet.

One day later …

I am actually impressed with the build quality the UMIDIGI A3 brings to the table and while the documentary was a bit lacking I still was able to get the phone running in a few minutes (mostly spending time training the fingerprint sensor).


So back into the Playstore and this time I get to download the current Oculus App.
From here setting up the Quest was just a matter of feeding the right account information … and done without another serious hickup.

The worst part was waiting for the Quest to reboot after it updated the software,
because it just didn’t turn back on. After a few minutes I decided to risk it and turn it on manually (which is a risky thing as we all know we are not supposed to touch devices that are updating) … and it went well, the Quest booted up and I was finally able to go in, do the guardian setup and jump into the introduction experience.

And it was an eye opener! I am not a fanboy by nature, but I admit that the Oculus Quest is now my favorite VR device. Oculus managed to make me a believer in them with this lovely little device.

Where I was not very happy with the Index controllers (and you can believe me I really wanted to be), the Quest controllers are fantastic. Yes they don’t try as hard to give you perfect hand representations … but they are so much more stable with the poses than the Index was for me and they are using them much nicer. The demos that introduce you to the system are sooooo smooth that I couldn’t help but love it.

The only thing I miss is the strap that allows you to let go!

The screen resolution is great and I was very surprised to have so few lens artefacts spoiling the experience. Overall the image quality does not feel like you have to “suffer” because of the mobile chipset powering it.

The weight is also fantastic and the headset sits tight on my head. Played a few rounds of beat saber and the lack of a leash is making even this forward facing experience A LOT nicer.

I think the Quest will keep selling as fast as they can make them for a while!