When the Nintendo Wii was released back in 2006 it came with the famous game “Wii Sports” included. Wii Sports was intended to essentially be a tech demo to show users how the new control system worked and give them something to play with as they worked their way into the “real” games.
If you were around at the time, you know that Wii Sports turned into something bigger than even Nintendo could have dreamed of. Even though it was simple, it was addictingly fun and people played it for years.
The new Meta Quest 3 virtual reality headset comes with a free game built-in, and it has the same goal as Wii Sports — to introduce people to a new way to play games. While it almost certainly won’t have the lasting appeal of Wii Sports, the new “First Encounters” game on the Quest 3 is much more than just a tech demo.
The Quest headsets have always been about Virtual Reality (VR), but the Quest 3 is also pushing the Augmented Reality (AR) features quite a bit. While VR whisks you away to a new world, AR keeps you in your room and then augments it with a game to be played in your space. First Encounters is a fantastic way to introduce this to new players.
First Encounters is a short game (perhaps five minutes) where space aliens break into your room and you need to capture them. As they break in, you’ll see debris landing on your floor (and elevated surfaces like your couch and countertops) and they’ll create holes in your walls to see the outside world. Here’s a video of a guy playing it (slight language warning) to see what I mean:
Like Wii Sports, it’s a great way to learn how the new technology in a fun way, and it tracks your score so you can compete against others. It really just has the one game (and it’s single player), so it won’t have nearly the replayability of Wii Sports, but it’s a mind-blowing experience the first time you try it and will have more lasting appeal than Meta planned for it to have.