Should I Buy an Oculus Quest 2? A Cost-Benefit Analysis

in LeoFinancelast year (edited)

I’ve been to the last two IRL pre-Hive Fests so have been thinking about getting a VR Headset so I can take part in the upcoming virtual one in December 2020.

The only real option available to me is the Oculus Quest, a stand-alone device requiring no PC.

Screenshot 20201119 at 09.42.12.png

The Quest costs around £400, but is it worth it?

This post by @themarkymark was initially quite off putting, outlining the fact that you have to merge your Facebook account with the device in order to be able to log into it, and if you ever breach Facebook community guidelines you can be locked out of your device, being unable to use any of the games or apps you may have purchased.

Read the terms and conditions here if you like – they are pretty ‘Facebook surveillance extreme’:

  •   You must have a Facebook account to log into the device or create one if you don’t have one. 
  •   You’re expected to use your ‘real’ Facebook account to log in to the device. 
  •   You’re not supposed to create a ‘burner’ account to access the device (apparently Facebook’s AI is quite on the case with this)
  •   If you breach community standards you can be blocked from accessing the device (which you paid $400 for) – the main reason for this currently seems to be accessing it through a burner account…. 
  •   You can’t use multiple accounts on one device, meaning one per person.  

My first thought was ‘what the actual fuck’ this is straight up evil-corporation surveillance built-in redundancy bullshit, which it is, but there’s almost no chance of my getting banned because I use ‘Facebook’ in a very ‘legitimate’ way - I use it to publicise my main blog, I chat to people I know occasionally, and I’ve found some of the local Brits in Portugal groups really helpful. I don’t do politics on Facebook – it’s mostly business and local community stuff, so I’m pretty safe from a ban.

Further analysis of the Quest…

A while ago I outlined seven characteristics according to which I make an investment decision – this can be applied to any product or any activity. These criteria are as follows.

  • Practical utility - how usable is the investment?
  • Basic needs security - to what extent can I use the Vest to meet my basic needs for food, water, shelter etc?
  • Theft security - how secure is it from malicious actors - such as The State, hackers or zombies?
  • Store of value - how likely is it to not depreciate in the long-term?
  • Return on investment - what is the potential for getting a return - either in terms of passive income or just a gain in value?
  • Ethics - to what extent does it fit in with decentralisation, and sustainability for example?
  • Personal affinity - this is a combination of how much I know about the investment and how far it just ‘clicks’ with me.

I’ve got to be honest it’s a mixed bag….

Practical utility – 6/10 (AND ?)

Judging the device on its own merits, this is the VR headset to go for – I don’t need a PC for it to work, it’s stand-alone.

HOWEVER, I have no idea whether it will work with a 4G connection! I’ve tried searching, but no reliable information. If it doesn’t obviously this score goes down to 0 for me and I won’t buy one!

Also, potentially moving onto land with solar power, I can’t imagine having that much power to spare in Winter for charging the quest. I can imagine it would use 100 Watts all by itself if I use it for a few hours every day.

Basic needs security – 2/10

It can’t feed me, keep me warm, cloth me, however, if it weren’t for the connections I made at especially pre-Hive fest 3 I wouldn’t be as successful as I am on Hive atm. Meeting people brings good things, and I see virtual meet ups as no different.

Theft security – 1/10

The device is very easy to steal – and factory reset I guess. And of course FB can steal it from me by locking me out, and it's not the kind of device I'd carry around with me or put in a safe, it's just slightly too large.

Store of value - how likely is it to not depreciate in the long-term? 2/10 (maybe 3/10)

If I wanted to sell it on in a year I doubt I’m going to make more than 50% of what I bought it for, so this is defo a depreciate over time purchase – use it or lose it!

Return on investment – 3/10

Well I suppose I could use the VR headset and Altspace to run online learning webinars in virtual space, and make a return that way, turn it towards educational uses, but the problem there is that while that sounds like fun in a way because it’s new, it really is still just ‘work’ and also I don’t imagine there are going to be too many students with VR headsets themselves atm.

I’m thinking maybe if I were to give it a couple of years until 2022, when headsets are cheaper and more people have access to them, this would be better for me.

Ethics - 0/10 for the Quest

Terrible - I mean here we are all on Hive banging on about decentralisation –the Quest is the total opposite of everything Hive stands for – you give all your data away to Facebook, give them $400 for a device and then they can just decide to ban you from using it with no justification on their part.

Personal affinity – 3/10

I quite like the idea of VR – but ATM it does take me away from my desire to get more face to facey and In real lifey!
This isn't taking into account ethics. If I did, this also goes down to zero, but like most people, I'm quite adept at putting my ethics on the shelf when I want to have a bit of fun.

Final Score and Thoughts - < 20/70

For me the rational decision is clearly to NOT buy a Quest and just go for the Hive-Fest experience in 2D, but then again it’s still tempting!

One isn't always rational after all!

Maybe I could make that £400 VR streaming on Hive?!?

If it drops to £300 on Black Friday, I'd be tempted too!

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While the technology is cool, I'd never buy an Oculus product due to its requirement that you link your Oculus account to Facebook. It would be one thing if Facebook merely owned Oculus and profited from its sales, but to mandate that users not only that you have a Facebook account and link it to Oculus, but that you actively use Facebook on a regular basis or risk having your Facebook (and Oculus) account suspended (in which case you have bought a very expensive brick rather than a VR device). This is especially true given the ever-increasing authoritarianism being pushed by Facebook and the faceless, algorithmic programs they use to permanently suspend accounts that run awry of their "rules" (often without any explanation or ability to appeal).

 last year 

This has been broken, and might be made public soon. The group that broke it is trying to help the fight for "right to repair" which grants consumers the right to repair and modify hardware and vehicles they purchase regardless of what terms of service state.

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Yes fair point, I'm not a huge fan of Facebook myself!

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You should actually try these things out first before you decide to buy one.
I once played a VR-racing simulator, but after 20 minutes I started getting dizzy and nauseous.
It could be caused by the fast images, but it wasn't a pleasant experience.

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Very fair point!

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Are there no alternatives to the Quest 2? I mean is that evil thing the only device compatible with the event site? That would be super stupid.

I think it's the only affordable option that's a standalone!

Altspace is Windows and I don't think it's Mac Compatible which is what I've got.

We're really ticking all the decentralised tech boxes here aren't we!

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What about Oculus Rift? Does it has the same Facebook requirement than the Quest?

I think that's Windows.

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But so what? Is Windows not OK? The Altspace event runs also on Windows computers, right?

I have a Mac!

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2D for me.., that's if I turn up. It's not going to be the same experience as Bangkok and my last VR system (the PSVR), I sold on quite quickly. It steamed up fast inside and the visuals became blurry. One needs an inbuilt AC unit to use these.

I can imagine it will look most depressing in 2D!

Do they tend do get hot then?

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 last year 

It doesn't get hot at all in any way that you notice it, if you put your hand on the front it is a little warm but you don't feel it on your head.

You will get hot though from jumping around like an idiot, cause that is what you will look like to everyone watching you.

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I couldn't wear it for more than 15 minutes. I'm not saying this one is the same, but it looks similar in design.

I think I'm over it, I need to get my land legs on anyway, I can better spend that £400 quid towards real land, or a cabin, bore hole, tools, new van, or probably a whole load of other IRL things I'll need early next year!

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Should I buy anything which requires a Facebook account?


That's all.

 last year 

You’re expected to use your ‘real’ Facebook account to log in to the device.

wtf 😂 these terms are really evil, you basically dont own the device, fb does

Very fair point come to think of it!

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This is a great lo-down review. (We’re thinking of getting a VR headset for the family to use, I think the kids would love it as well as us, maybe for Xmas)

I see your reasonable reservations for buying it just for HiveFest, although I’m sure it would get plenty of use after too if you found the right use case.
Depreciation is something I consider too, you’re right that unless it’s immaculate boxed condition I’m not sure you’d get more than 60% back.

What sort of games and activities are available for the headset - did you research in to that side of things? Are all games free or an extra expense?

If you do go for it I’d love to read your thoughts.
Ace stuff!

I didn't research into games at all I'm afraid, I'm more likely to use it for things such as virtual events - but I doubt I'd use it much after Hive Fest!

I think if you have kids it's a different matter - probably well worth the money, but you'd need multiple for max entertainment!

Black Friday deals may be worth looking out for!

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Good call on Black Friday deals!

I would not want to give money to Facebook, but then some consider all big companies 'evil'. I do plan to be at Hivefest, but I don't have another use for a VR headset, so 2D will have to do. I'm not sure my PC is up to driving one anyway. It did work in 2D when I tried it. I expect we will see a few reviews of headsets from people who do buy them.

I do kind of want one, but it would be completely irrational to buy one from an economic point of view!

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I like that you analyse it so deeply. I have not used VR much. I did have a play on an HTC (I think) system work were using to model production set-ups and I have the Google Cardboard thing you can put your phone in. The latter is actually quite good, but I don't use it much.

I've never heard of the Google cardboard thing?!?

I think what I need to do this week is start searching for some land, that should put me off any need for VR headsets!

I do quite fancy one though!

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I dread to think what they'd do to your eyes!

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I would certainly not spend that much money on a device like that.
First of all I outright refuse to use Facebook so it simply would not work for me. But on top of that, I tried one of these devices some months ago and I have to say I was really underwhelmed by the experience. Ya, VR is going to be amazing in some years. Right now, though? Still a long way to go in my opinion...

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Crikey, only months ago, I doubt much development has taken place since then!

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I certainly won't be getting one for HF, I have no other use for it, and I can make much better use of the funds at this moment in time. I appreciate the experience will be much better than 2d, but for me it simply isn't worth it... I don't even buy myself a new handset that's more than £250!

It is a lot of money, TBH I don't even know why I'm tempted by it, it's quite silly, I've got the money but not the time really.

What do you mean by a new handset?!?

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Mobile phone.... Why did i write handset 🤔

I tried the 2d on Altspace today, went on the "information walk". Interestingly I met someone else there, and we talked a bit (mostly "Can you hear me?"). I'm looking forward to the test-meeting this evening to see how interacting with a group of people will be.

Though one reason for my not buying a VR headset is that I already have a "I treat myself" purchase planned for about 300 Euros for January. And my "fund for unnecessary expenditures" is limited :)

Oh that's interesting - I didn't realise there was a test meeting!

Yes 3-400 EU is a lot to spend on anything!

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I don't like that Facebook clause at all. What if you don't have Facebook?

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You have to open up a new account to be able to use it!

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Facebook, never again. In your case it's esier because you already have one.

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cool idea Bro!
Looking fwd to see ya there)

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Command accepted!

Although it might be in 2D!

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Wise choice, 400 $ is a lot of cash, that could be used different. Are you somehow talented in DIY? There are some good tutorials on building it. With this, you can't be locked out by anyone ;)

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I'm not that good with DIY tech, but it's good to know that's the case!

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One definitely cheaper version on DIY:

Maybe you have a friend that would love to do this stuff :)

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That does look very cool!

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For me the rational decision is clearly to NOT buy a Quest and just go for the Hive-Fest experience in 2D, but then again it’s still tempting!

You can look into the other VR sets, that is allowed.
You equated the decision for no FB Quest = No VR Hivefest VR... you're missing a whole other discussion. Big logical brain fart perhaps?

People are talking about Quest 2 because it's the best value for tech. Those that are OK with FB will probably get it and those not will probably have to spend more money on another device that may not be as up to date awesome or may require a wire to a computer.

ps. There will be no Black Friday discount

  • It's already much cheaper than the earlier edition all while being significantly better.
  • They already have a backlog and won't have trouble selling tons because it's so good.


I have no idea whether it will work with a 4G connection! I’ve tried searching, but no reliable information. If it doesn’t obviously this score goes down to 0 for me and I won’t buy one!

I use it on my cell phone hot spot constantly. So the answer is yes. And that's only for apps that actually need internet.

Also, potentially moving onto land with solar power, I can’t imagine having that much power to spare in Winter for charging the quest. I can imagine it would use 100 Watts all by itself if I use it for a few hours every day.

The charging needs are not big... you can charge it with a battery charger like you use for your cell phone.

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