GDC 2019: Beat Saber On Oculus Quest Feels Incredible

GDC 2019: Beat Saber On Oculus Quest Feels Incredible

I’ve played a lot of Beat Saber across the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PSVR versions of the game. I’ve beaten every officially released song on Expert, a few on Expert+, and play a lot of custom downloaded tracks. I am by no means a pro Beat Saber player and I don’t play daily, but I’d say I’m pretty good, at least among my personal peers.

All that being said, I didn’t think Beat Saber on Oculus Quest would work very well, to be honest. I didn’t think the tracking would be good enough, the headset would be comfortable enough, or the controller weight difference would feel accurate enough. Thankfully, all of my concerns evaporated as soon as I tried Beat Saber on the Oculus Quest for the first time earlier this week at GDC 2019.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to test it extensively by any means, but I did get to play ‘Escape’ from the original collection of Beat Saber songs on Expert difficulty twice. The second time I improved my score and only missed two out of over three hundred notes. Not bad.

I can guarantee that if the tracking had been sub-par I would have noticed and would not have been able to hit nearly every note on Expert. Although I have heard reports from some others in the press that reaching far out wide to either side when slashing boxes did momentarily cause a tracking hiccup and missed boxes, but it was very rare and could be fixed with less wild movements.

I think Beat Saber on Quest is going to be a revelation for VR as a whole. It’s the perfect hardware to software match and I look forward to hopping for some quick songs every day with next to zero friction.

“For me personally, I have Quest on my table and I’m using it everyday,” said Jaroslav Beck, in an interview at GDC 2019. “You just pick it up and do your thing and this is where Beat Saber should be…it should be your daily sport [or] routine. So this is really the very best hardware for that.”

One of my minor concerns was that the controllers wouldn’t feel right. Since I am so used to playing on the original Rift and original Touch controllers the weight balance on the new controllers takes some getting used to because the tracking ring is flipped over to the top instead of the bottom. After playing a single song I got used to it and mostly forgot it was even different.

During my GDC demo I didn’t get a chance to try any songs on Expert+, but if the tracking is good enough for the developers to include it then surely it must work well.

Beat Saber will be a launch title for Oculus Quest when it releases this Spring. Let us know what you think down in the comments below!

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