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Saturday, January 23, 2021

The hard-to-find Oculus Quest is back in stock at Amazon, Oculus and elsewhere


Sarah Tew

The Oculus Quest, the runaway hit VR headset that’s been largely unavailable from any retailer since the holidays, is finally coming back in stock. That’s nice thing about it for VR fans. The Quest earned an Editors’ Choice Award here at a year ago, and unlike most gadgets, it has gotten notably better with age. Oculus last year rolled out a hand-tracking update that makes it easy for developers to produce games that don’t require controllers, and the Oculus Link software and cable enables the Quest to be tethered to a PC and play games written for the HTC Vive. Which brings us to the latest basis for shortages: Half-Life: Alyx, a flagship VR title from Valve that’s designed to be run on pricey tethered headsets, but could be played just fine on a relatively inexpensive Quest using the Oculus Link. 

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The headset has been out of stock due to a mix of consumer demand, the impact of the coronavirus on manufacturing, and even sales bots that automate the purchase of limited-inventory services and products like the Quest and Nintendo Switch before average consumers can get to the website. 

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At long last, a variety of retailers are beginning to have inventory again. If you’ve been waiting for a 64GB or 128GB model, now’s the full time to place an order. But there are a lot of caveats. Inventory is changing constantly, and there isn’t any guarantee you may get the version with the storage capacity you want today. So you may have to choose between waiting through more shortages or buying 128GB when you wanted the 64GB version (or vice versa). As a separate Quest owner, I’d say 64GB quickly gets somewhat cramped, so I’d personally recommend the 128GB version. Even so, it’s not hard to uninstall apps to produce room for others; it’s just inconvenient.

If you are getting a Quest with plans to play Half-Life: Alyx, you will need to get a long USB-C cable, and those have been tricky to find as well. You can use the USB charging cable that came with your Quest, but it’s just 3 meters long, which is just a little short for VR gaming. The gold standard is the 5-meter Oculus Link cable from Oculus, but at $79, it’s a little pricey — and USB-C at both ends. Not long ago i got the 16-foot Masiken Oculus Quest Link Cable for about $30, which plugs into a USB-A port, and it works fabulously.     

Finally, keep in mind there are rumors afoot about a next-generation Oculus Quest headset, which can see the light of day later this season or some time in 2021. But today, all we now have are rumors, so if you desire to strap in to some Beat Saber sooner as opposed to later, browse the current availability below.

Read more at GameSpot: Half-Life: Alyx review

64GB version ($399)

128GB version ($499)

Out of stock

Note this list can include bundles, used/refurbished models and third-party vendors that are listed as “in stock,” but usually at higher than the list price or with ship dates which can be far in the future.

This article is updated frequently to reflect product availability. 

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