Facebook Oculus Quest 2 VR headset is the hot-ticket Christmas Day gift, but pesky age-related usage restrictions might play spoilsport

Facebook Oculus Quest 2 VR headset
Families with children should not buy the Facebook Oculus Quest 2 VR headset? Pic credit: Facebook

The Facebook Oculus Quest 2 Virtual Reality (VR) headset is one of the hottest gift items of Christmas Day 2020. Although the standalone headset is a huge leap in VR gaming, Facebook’s terms of usage could play spoilsport.

Christmas Day 2020 has come and gone, and multiple social media posts and virtual stores appear to have declared the Facebook Oculus Quest 2 VR standalone gaming headset a winner. Incidentally, the Nintendo Switch is still the hottest selling game console despite Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X|S launch.

Despite the huge sales figures of the headset, the parent company’s usage policies, particularly about the age of users, will inevitably cause heartache for many families. This is because Facebook recently made it mandatory for Quest 2 VR headset users to have a Facebook account.

Facebook Oculus Quest 2 headset is a huge leap in VR gaming:

Facebook owns Oculus, the company that makes these Virtual Reality headsets. The first iteration of the Oculus was surely a hit. However, the hardware was quite limited. Gamers who acquired the first iteration indicated the limitations hindered smooth and immersive VR gameplay.

The Facebook Oculus Quest 2 VR standalone gaming headset, on the other hand, is a different story altogether, and a successful one at that. The headset started shipping in October, this year. Although the headset has the same untethered standalone design, the internals are entirely new.

The Oculus Quest 2 VR headset received a huge bump in screen resolution and controller battery life. It also has a powerful new chipset. The headset starts at $299 for the base 6GB/64GB model and $399 for a 6GB/256GB version. This is a good $100 lower from the original Quest.

The Quest 2 VR standalone gaming headset packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset, which promises higher AI capability. The optics claim to offer 2K resolution per eye or about 50 percent more pixels than before. With Quest 2’s increased graphics processing power, the headset is capable of a 90 Hz refresh rate.

Apart from the optics on the Facebook Oculus Quest 2, even the controllers have been updated for better ergonomics and lesser fatigue. Additionally, the new version also supports Oculus Rift PC content via the Oculus Link cable that allows gamers to play PC games.

Facebook’s insistence on an account with the company to keep many end-users dismayed?

There’s no doubt the Facebook Oculus Quest 2 is one of the best VR headsets available today. Moreover, Facebook has priced these headsets very aggressively.

The lowered price, coupled with powerful hardware, ensured the Facebook Oculus Quest 2 was a hit. Several stores have already declared the headset as one of the hottest selling gift items for Christmas 2020.

But, quite recently, Facebook insisted that Oculus VR gaming subscribers will need to have a Facebook account to benefit from the new headsets and any new features. Simply put, Oculus Quest 2 users must sign-up on Facebook to enter the world of VR on the headset.

Now Facebook usage policies clearly mention the minimum age of users, which is 13. Since Facebook owns Oculus and insists on a Facebook account, kids under 13 years of age aren’t actually allowed to use the headset according to Facebook.

Parents can, of course, allow children to use their accounts. And children have often fudged their age to get on Facebook. However, Facebook insists that the age on the account matches that of the user.

Moreover, the company warns that it will proactively shut down accounts if it finds out otherwise. In rare cases, Facebook has locked out users and asked them to provide a photo of government-issued identification to verify their name and age.

Incidentally, Facebook also prohibits account sharing. This means parents cannot legally grant shared access to their children.

It is not immediately clear how parents, and more importantly, children below the age of 13, will be able to enjoy the Facebook Oculus Quest 2 VR standalone gaming headset. It is quite likely that Facebook could offer some special, restricted accounts for children in the near future. But until then, parents should exercise caution.

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