Best Game Platform You Can Buy This Season

Best Game Platform You Can Buy This Season

You may have trouble finding a PS5 or Xbox X this holiday.  In fact, some reports say that you might be more likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine before you can easily find a new Xbox, when they are expected to be in more plentiful supply around April, 2021.

 

There is one new platform that you probably can find this season, and it is really great: the Oculus Quest 2 (from $399).

 

Now, before I extol the virtues of the Oculus Quest 2, let me get a few negatives out of the way.  Like all video games, some people who are sensitive to flashing lights may have adverse reactions which can be serious.   Also, some gamers find that virtual reality makes them "sea sick".  I do not recommend virtual reality games for young children; not only for medical issues, but because (like all video games) I am concerned about adverse effects on development and behavior.  However, particularly for sedentary tweens, teens, and adults, I believe (subject to the health warnings above) the active play associated with virtual reality can be a big plus.

 

The Oculus Quest 2, is the updated model to last year's model.  It improves on the resolution of the first, delivering much better graphics.

 

Like the original, the OQ2 doesn't require a computer to deliver stunning 3D play.  The basic set comes with the headset and two hand controllers.  After pairing it with your smartphone and giving it a WiFi connection, the OQ2 works on its own.  You purchase games through its online store, and can browse the net using it its built-in browser.

 

The set can be used in two modes:  in one, the play area is more or less fixed.  In the other, you can define a play area within which you can move.  (Make sure the area is free of breakables and/or things that could break you if you swat them!)

 

Available games tend to fall into several types.  There are lots of rhythm based games where the object is to move in sync with the music while swatting at objects.  Of course, there are lots of shoot'em ups.  Lately, I've seen more puzzle games come into the store. 

 

You can also use the OQ2 as a media viewer.  Personally, wearing a headset that rests slightly on my nose is not the best way to enjoy a movie, but it is fun to take in short clips of 360 degree movies that put you in the center of high-octane adventure action, like jumping from a plane, or skiing down a mountain I wouldn't consider in real life.

 

An added plus is that the games tend to be less expensive (though much shorter) than those on other platforms.  Regardless of length, I find myself coming back to the games on the OQ2 over and over.  They are fun to play, and offer a refreshing change of pace from twiddling my thumbs on the big-three platforms.