Stand alone VR head set, right now


Supreme [H]ardness
Oct 24, 2005
What’s the best head set to buy right now with some limitations. Under $3000.

I’m saying best, for image quality and speed. I can use headphones for audio.

1. Stand alone, no computer required. Or Mac OS native support. I don’t want to boot camp or windows.

2. Has to have some kind of app or game store.

3. I will not be using it for business.

Currently I have the original oculus and it’s showing its age, especially since I only got 64 gigs. I’m deleting games to play other content.

Is it the new $1500 Oculus or Oculus 2? Or Vive?

I’ll be getting the Sony PS VR corded set as soon as I can get them.

I’m open to whatever. I have NO problem rebuying software if I need to leave Oculus.
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The new $1500 Oculus is the essentially the Quest Pro. So it's an upgrade to both Quest 1 and Quest 2. So the sequence of Quest products is 1, 2, Pro (new), and 3 (next year). So basically Pro is an upgrade versus your headset.

This is much too early to ask this question, unfortunately because of an upcoming boom of standalones.
  • Apple standalone doesn't exist yet till 2023
  • Meta Quest 3 is not yet till 2023
  • Competing rumored Valve standalone doesn't exist yet, but ETA 2023-2024
    The latest grapevine indicates that Valve wants to merge Steam Deck guts with a faster CPU/GPU into a future Index VR headset, to create a standalone. The new Steam Deck Steam UI is almost a Oculus Store copycat, UX-wise. Valve is 90% technologically there.
  • Rumors of other standalones
November 2022 choices seem limited to 2 upgrades
- The Pico headset, a ByteDance (TikTok) product only sold in China and some countries, so you'd have to import it.
- The Meta 256GB products including Quest 2 and Quest Pro

The rest of other options don't have nearly as much standalone gaming content, unfortunately. The other professional standalones don't even have a Steam-worthy or Oculus-worthy gaming store, and have much less standalone content.

The new Oculus Quest Pro has a locally-dimmed LCD panel, which improves the quality of VR games, if fully implemented, so you get much better contrast ratio. And the pancake lens has less halo god-ray effects than the fresnel lenses in the original Quest/Quest 2. It is a bit of an overkill spend to get a modest upgrade to a Quest, but it may whet appetite, ignoring the Metaverse and simply using the Quest Pro as a glorified upgraded Quest 2 headset, since it will run all Quest 2 games at the same graphics detail you're used to. So it's not a $300 vs $1500 upgrade, except for FALD , color passthrough, etc, that are only nice-to-haves. There'd be fewer stutters/hitches in heavy AAA VR games like Red Matter 2 sequel thanks to the upgraded processor, but other than that not much visual difference, except when the new firmware upgrades the FALD behavior of older Quest 2 games with darker scenes -- then it's a fairly nice upgrade (but not "$1500 nice" for some game genres).

If you have lots of money then Quest Pro will probably be the best appetite-whetter until the big boom of standalones finally comes. Basically ignoring the metaverse hype and treating it like an upgraded Quest 2 with reduced halo effect, FALD and (still-blurry) color passthrough. But with the reduced god-rays and the much better blacks of local dimming in Quest Pro, this is an appetite-whetter for standalone horror-game lovers -- so the genre you play will have a major impact on whether Quest Pro is worth it or not.

Next year's Quest 3 will be much cheaper than Quest Pro, but it is wholly possible that the Quest Pro may have better quality due to the pancake lens and FALD that might not necessarily make it into a Quest 3 (this is unknown). Quest 3 is supposed to have the faster processor and the higher resolution, but I don't know if Quest 3 will gain pancake lens and FALD. So theoretically Quest Pro may be superior to 2023's possible Quest 3, depending on what Meta announces for Quest 3.

Currently games are not yet upgraded to take advantage of Quest Pro extra processing and resolution, but in theory when they get upgraded for Quest 3 higher resolution, that will be backported to the Quest Pro, and then you get the higher-resolution dividends that Quest 2 does not have, and the FALD/pancake dividends that Quest 3 *may* not have. But they might announce surprises and port more Quest Pro goodies into Quest 3. And by then, the competitor standalones may have already come out, finally with an in-headset Steam built into Valve's standalone.

There is the cost-benefit decision between buying an RTX-powered gaming PC and hooking to your existing Quest 2, and spending less than $1500 (it's now possible with a 3000-series RTX card thanks to GPU price drops!). But for many, the attraction of plug-and-play VR gaming anywhere with photogrammetry-assisted quick roomscale setup in brand new rooms -- is a convenience that sometimes outweighs having a VR PC for some people, considering some of the newest standalone games now have PCVR-competing graphics (such as Red Matter 2) due to superlative optimizing by the game developers. And you may have people in your household that just wants to put on a headset anywhere and play without fuss (very few headsets can do this except for Pico and Quest 2)

At the end of the day...

I am only, however, 100% speculating, based on expected technological progress and current rumors. Which means the Quest Pro might or might not, end up a waste of money as a "pro" standalone consumer headset. But this may not care to people who have lots of money to spare...
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Quest Pro is the best for standalone, and a significant step up from the Quest 2 in image quality, but it's also a significant price increase. The lenses make a massive difference.

If you play a ton of VR and can afford it I would say go for the Pro, but if you don't play that much and you're just going to buy PSVR2 right away maybe just get a Quest 2.
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Gotcha. I like the Oculus, but it’s the only one I’ve tried. The lenses are the weakest part of the Oculus in my opinion.

I can definitely get the pro, just seeing if anything else is available now.