The second generation Oculus Quest virtual reality headset, Quest 2, will be available abroad for prices starting at $ 299 next month. Facebook opened pre-orders for Quest 2 today and is launching the title in 22 countries on October 13th. Quest 2 will replace both the original Quest and the PC-linked Rift S, thanks to the Link feature that allows it to play PC VR games.
Quest 2 specifications and images have been around for the past few months. Today’s announcement also confirms most of the leaked details. First of all, Quest 2 is a thinner and lighter version of the Quest. The headboard weighs 503 grams instead of 571 grams and looks a bit shallower than before. It has a soft cloth head strap instead of hard rubber and mainly comes in white instead of black. Still, it could qualify as a self-contained inside-out hood, with four front-mounted tracking cameras and two black-and-white Oculus Touch touch motion controllers.
The original Quest, which is already out of stock in many places, is officially retiring. Oculus will continue to support the Rift S and the original Quest. For now, all new and existing Quest games will run on both generations of the title without Quest 2 exclusive content.
As suggested by previous leaks, the components inside the Quest have also been renewed. The new title uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset instead of the Snapdragon 835 and has 6 GB of RAM instead of 4 GB. The base model still has 64GB of storage space, but the expanded $ 399 model accommodates 256GB of storage, twice the equivalent of the original Quest. The resolution of the screen is much higher: Quest has a panel of 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye instead of 1440 x 1600 pixels. The current refresh rate is still below optimum at 72 Hz, but a 90 Hz boost is coming after launch.
Quest 2 comes with a number of optional accessories. Some focus on comfort and convenience; These include exclusive Logitech earbuds and a plastic “Elite Strap” that provides head support. In addition, an additional battery pack is optional.
However, the $ 79k Link USB-C cable provides a significant extra feature. Allows you to plug Quest ”to a PC and play desktop VR games. This feature was added to Quest last year, but Oculus is removing it from beta and with the Rift S retiring in the coming months, making Quest the only PC VR headset option.
Quest 2 will also be the first headline that will arguably require a Facebook login, rather than allowing users to keep completely separate Oculus accounts. Prabhu Parthasarathy, product manager for Quest 2, said that the motivation for this occurred especially during pandemic-induced home quarantine and “basically social. ”He says. “Every single social experience available on the platform has seen some interaction over the past few months. We’ve always been thinking: What is the right moment to make our VR headsets more social? And we think this is the right moment. ”
A linked account allows Oculus users to find their Facebook friends in VR. The company also recently expanded its beta for Horizon, a Facebook social space running on Oculus titles. Features like friend lists can still be kept separate, and you don’t need to publicly combine your Oculus and Facebook identities.
Parthasarathy also detailed several other design decisions regarding Quest 2. The title says the Oculus Touch controllers still use AA batteries instead of built-in rechargeable batteries, as Oculus didn’t find a hassle-free charging solution. “There’s really no good way to charge this,” he says, comparing the situation with Apple’s Magic Mouse. “There is definitely a day when we are going to install rechargeable batteries. Maybe we’ll install a socket or stand where we can plug it in. But right now I have nothing for this product. ”
The Oculus Quest store will still be comprised largely of carefully and meticulously selected content, but users can use Link to play desktop Rift games (now called simply “PC VR” games, according to Meaghan Fitzgerald, AR / VR head of product marketing) for a wider range of experiences. They can use. Oculus also discussed the idea of an alternative channel that would allow developers to share their Quest apps outside of the store, but Fitzgerald says there is no new knowledge on this front.
Facebook Reality Labs, the new name of Facebook’s AR / VR division, also shared details about the prototype mixed reality sound and smaller virtual reality glasses. Oculus is basically trying to make a better Quest with Quest 2 and watch what people do with it. “We’re making a big bet that everything that works on Quest with a better product, more content, more affordable price should really remove this category,” Parthasarathy says. “We have a lot of ideas and we are working on prototypes as usual. But after that, I think we will all learn where things are going. “