Sony and Microsoft aren't the only two companies launching major new gaming hardware this holiday season. On Wednesday, Facebook revealed the Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset.
The new device — a successor to Facebook's most successful VR headset — is more powerful than its predecessor and more affordable: The Quest 2 starts at just $300, which includes two wireless controllers and the headset itself.
Like the original Quest, the Quest 2 doesn't require a PC to power virtual reality. It's a bit like the Nintendo Switch of virtual reality: You can play it unplugged, anywhere, as a standalone device, or you can plug it in to a PC and play more visually dazzling, PC-powered virtual reality games like "Half-Life: Alyx" that require more processing muscle.
So, what's different about the Quest 2 from the original?
It's lighter, more powerful, and has a more capable screen. Most important of all, it's less expensive than the first Quest model: the Quest 2 starts at $300 with 64 GB of built-in storage, and the $400 model comes with 256 GB.
The Quest 2 is also backwards compatible with the first-generation. If you've already got a Quest, your content will automatically come forward with you as part of your user account.
Notably, the Quest 2 is considered the new flagship headset for Facebook. With the launch of the Quest 2 this October, Facebook is sunsetting the Oculus "Rift" line of headsets in favor of the Quest line.
"We're going to focus on standalone VR headsets moving forward," a Facebook blog post reads. "We'll no longer pursue PC-only hardware, with sales of Rift S ending in 2021."
Pre-orders of the Oculus Quest 2 headset are available starting today through the Oculus website, with the full-on launch scheduled for October 13. GameStop, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart are serving as retail partners for the launch.
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