The Oculus Quest has been touted as a mobile gaming device by its Oculus CTO, John Carmack. Not a gaming console like the Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo Switch? Being a portable and wire-free device, the Oculus Quest will certainly be competing in the mobile gaming space, there is no question. But with the same space being dominated by Apple and its iPhone platform, it has tough competition to compete in, what with its huge user base and a vast game library.
Competition and comparisons aside, the act of just playing games on them puts the Oculus Quest on equal grounds with game consoles, and mobile games. It may not provide the best in graphics against consoles and it will certainly compete with mobile games in the visual department. With the right developers, the tools are available on the Quest to create some compelling experiences.
Has Carmack chosen to reach for the low hanging fruit though by putting the Quest in the same ballpark as the Nintendo Switch, instead of choosing Microsoft’s Xbox or Sony’s PlayStation? We have to look at what sells consoles… its games.
There is a heavy amount of weight cast on the Oculus Quest as being a gaming platform, and that’s great – for gamers. The Quest has yet to release its hardware, so it’s not great to compared its games library at the moment. But with 50 launch games expected, and a library of 2453 Oculus Rift titles listed on Steam alone (of which say 50% could be ported, including titles from Oculus GO) we already have a good library of titles ready in its first year.
Games sells consoles, and the Oculus Quest needs that killer title. It couldn’t be any more crucial to selling headsets during its launch next Spring. If 50 titles actually do release at launch, a handful of those need to be jaw-dropping, gun-tooting blockbusters of the VR world. We need to see The Climb, Moss, Robo Recall, Beat Saber and the like, all poised for downloading and playing on the Oculus Quest at launch. Thankfully, all but 1 of those mentioned have been confirmed as launch titles for the Quest next Spring, so Oculus is already on to a good library of games for launch at least.
Oculus has to win-over the kind of people who don’t even know what the Quest is, let alone know what VR does or has never experienced VR, to build a large user base. Oculus Quest needs some original and AAA quality titles in its library of 50 launch titles to make its mark and lure people down off the fence. With its fairly accessible price point of entry, compelling technology, freedom of wires and its library of killer upcoming titles, the potential of the Oculus Quest as a console or a mobile gaming device is very strong.