Oculus Quest 2 Turns 1-12 months-Outdated
Weeks before Oculus Quest 2 was released last year, Facebook’s tech guide, John Carmack, offered his annual talk with a conscious consideration of his thoughts on the state of consumer virtual reality and Facebook’s efforts in the marketplace.
“That comes very close to a pure win,” he said. “Quest 2 is better, faster, cheaper and we’re doing a lot more of it.”
The standalone, standalone all-in-one VR headset Oculus Quest was released in May 2019. Its successor, just 16 months later, Quest 2, dropped its starting price by $ 100 – now $ 299 – when it launched in October 2020 with version 20 of Facebook software.
A year later, Quest 2:
- Runs version 33 of the system software and can be wirelessly connected to a capable VR PC to play PC VR games via Air Link.
- Quest 2 can now multitask, with traditional flat-screen Android apps running alongside the Oculus browser and providing the basics of a VR personal computer.
- Quest 2’s Guardian and Insight tracking system is now much smarter too. You can mark the position of your couch or desk and incorporate these pieces of furniture into your experience. You can see a pass-through view of your surroundings through the onboard cameras and leave your play area to see the physical world fade in, or go to another room and sit at your desk in VR without the headset to decrease.
- You can bring your bluetooth keyboard into VR and use a mouse or trackpad to move the cursor over the content.
- The graphics are boosted up to 120 Hz in some apps by Quest 2 – from 90 Hz with an experimental update at startup and from 72 Hz for the original Quest.
- Some developers can also improve hand tracking in their apps by supporting more expressive avatars in some games.
- If you buy a Quest 2 in its second year of life for the same $ 299, you get 128GB of internal storage. That’s double the entry-level headset when it was launched, and plenty of storage space to install big worlds like Myst, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, Resident Evil 4, and even Medal of Honor: Above And Beyond.
- There are rapidly growing communities around Quest apps like the fitness-oriented Supernatural, as well as a great replacement for popular physical activities like table tennis and mini golf. So it’s just getting easier to find people who want to use VR as much as you do, and there is support and friendship in these groups.
- There are a ton of accessories out there for the Quest 2, and apparently more is being announced all the time. There are of course the rigid belts with tensioning wheels to better balance the weight, the anchor charging station and silicone covers from VRCover. Rebuff Reality also has to consider the VR Power 2 battery and the VR Ears off-ear headphones as well as many other hand straps and decorative accessories. ‘
- Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms pushes the headset to its computational limits with an app that provides a pass-through view of your hands, keyboard, and desk, along with a remote desktop app and incredible audio quality for meeting and collaborating with others in Make VR more enjoyable. You can even use a touch controller like a pen and write on your desk as if it were a whiteboard.
All of this happens before Facebook reveals anything definitive about its future software and hardware roadmap. We know Facebook is developing a Quest Pro and its own Horizon tools, but earlier this year Facebook’s VR chief stated that Quest 2 would be “for a long time” and called it the “best choice for.” the most accessible way to “Jump into VR and Have a Great Experience.” Facebook Connect is happening on October 28th this year and we expect the company’s executives to address upcoming games and features for Quest 2 like this Ubisoft games under development and the Space Sense feature that should warn you when something comes into your play area.
Facebook has a sizable percentage of its 60,000+ employees focused on developing VR and AR technologies, and the company has offered to buy everyone a Quest 2. Could there be 10 million Oculus quests in the world a lot faster than anyone expected? We may soon find out.