Fighting over VR and Facebook’s Oculus Quest

Ahh, a 20-something-year-old guy was over the house tonight. We almost got in a fight over VR. Tried to tell me something other than the Oculus Quest is better after seeing the Quests on the floor and declaring “I would never buy one of those.” I tried to tell him the press, like CNET, was saying it’s the product of the year.

I almost eviscerated him with the research I was doing for our book and research reports we’re working on for our company but remembered that I have been arrogant and wrong like he was many times in the past and that I just don’t need the drama so I put my metaphorical weapons away and went to my corner to sulk and think about where people like him get their opinions.

After he left I said heck with it and wrote this post, but will keep his name out of this.

After all, it’s obvious he had never played with all the headsets yet he was so certain of his opinions and if he had he hadn’t spent more than a few minutes with each, which isn’t enough time to get a real opinion about the ecosystem of each. He got under my skin, mostly because he reminded me of myself.

Another thought. He reminded me of the nerds across my career who have made me feel like I didn’t know anything, so two triggers were pulled. The Unix ones in college who made me feel like the Macintosh I was using wasn’t “a real tool.” They all ended up using one within a few years. Or the people who didn’t want to join me on Twitter. Some of them now are running social media for big corporations. Or the other people who tried to push me to buy a Windows Phone, or other things that ended up failing in the marketplace.

Everyone has opinions, even me, and I’m often wrong too, I remind myself tonight, and even when I’m right no one really cares. Those who are wrong rarely admit they are wrong. Often they dig in their heels deeper before getting a clue that they are on the wrong side of history. Some of my friends kept using Windows Phones for years after the market had declared them dead and lame. One family member is STILL using a Windows Phone and called me a couple of weeks ago worried because Microsoft had announced it wasn’t going to be supported anymore. He was finally accepting that the world had moved on.

So, I quiet my soul, go back to the book I’m writing after interviewing captains of industry with the awesome Irena Cronin all week (these are all people who are doing amazing things in factories with VR and AR and associated tech) and I’ll have the last laugh. Or not. It doesn’t really matter.

But there isn’t a better product right now for the money and for the everyday consumer than the Oculus Quest. It’s a shame that my 20-something debate partner couldn’t shut up long enough to get me to turn mine on. He might have learned something. That’s the real lost opportunity for both of us tonight. I had the other product he was yakking about as well. It isn’t nearly as good for the price.

He would have learned why CNET is naming it the best so far of the standalone systems. He would have understood why I haven’t played our “bigger and more expensive and more ‘pro'” systems since getting the Quest even though they display more polygons and “technically” are better. In usage, though, they aren’t, at least in our house. The tether on the bigger systems just totally kills the experience and for many things the extra polygons don’t really bring much extra to the table. The Quest is so magical that if he had tried it on he would have seen that, but he had already decided it was lame before he got a chance.

We can use the Quest pretty much anywhere we want, while the bigger system is stuck in my office and, since I’m writing a book that system isn’t nearly as accessible to family and friends as the Quest is. Lately it’s been getting a lot more software too, because it’s selling somewhat decently and developers are taking note of reviews like the one in CNET I just posted here.

Ahh, anyone else get wound up about technology like I do?