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Trends and Insight

Oculus Quest 2: What We Know So Far

REWIND rounds up the rumours and what they hope to see from the new headset

Oculus Quest 2: What We Know So Far

The Oculus Quest  - Facebook’s standalone virtual reality (VR) headset  - changed the direction of consumer VR for the better with its release in May 2019. The affordable, accessible (no wires, no PC) headset has allowed VR technology to be brought to the masses.

With the Oculus Go being discontinued earlier this year, a sequel to the original Quest has been highly anticipated. So far, Facebook has remained tight-lipped about Oculus Quest 2, but thanks to renowned Twitter leaker WalkingCat, we now have an idea of what the headset may look like.

Whilst WalkingCat has a good track record for reliable leaks, the only thing we know for certain is that there will be a sequel to Oculus Quest, anything else is purely speculation at this point.

Here’s our round-up of all the information out there so far.

Aesthetics and Specs
WalkingCat pretty much broke the immersive industry internet when they posted this photo on 22nd July. The post was immediately shared all over Twitter with many people considering this to be an unofficial leak of the aesthetics for Quest 2  -  a smaller, all-white design with no manual interpupillary distance (IPD) adjuster (this is used to accommodate the lens distance for different users) and velcro head strap.

Of course, it’s tricky to tell from just a photo, but it looks like this device is made of plastic rather than the material design of the original Quest. 
The lack of IPD adjuster at the bottom suggests that there may be some new display tech that allows for digital IPD adjustment. Or perhaps, if UploadVR’s sources are correct, a new system of directly moving the eye cups to put the lenses into three distinct positions.

- Credit: Reddit user Tjtaco123

The current Oculus Quest is priced between $400-$500, and the recently discontinued Oculus Go sat at around $200. Could Oculus be aiming for a price between these two models to get more headsets into homes? Or will the rumoured higher-spec headset be more expensive than its predecessor? Sadly, the only way we will find out is at the launch (whenever that may be, see below).

Release Date
The original Oculus Quest was announced at OC5 back in 2018, so we might be looking at a Quest 2 update at this year’s event, which will be digital due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The event usually takes place in mid-September to early October, but with the move to a digital format, it’s possible that the timing may shift. If WalkingCat’s leaks are to be believed, it could be as early as 15th September.

What We’d Like To See From Quest 2
We are big Oculus Quest fans, so we’re looking forward to seeing how the current hardware will be updated to refine the experience. Here are a few improvements we would like to see in the next iteration of the headset.

Battery Life
The current Quest battery lasts about three hours, in our experience, so we would really like to see an improvement in battery life so we can play Asgard’s Wrath for even longer!

The Quest utilises a Snapdragon 835 chip which, although a little out of date, works well. Quest 2 may see an upgrade to an 845 or 855 chip, or even the VR/AR-optimised Qualcomm XR2 chip, which would allow for a smoother user experience and better frame rates. The original Quest manages just 72Hz refresh rate, whilst most PC VR headsets achieve 90Hz (making VR feel less jerky), so we’d love to see improved RAM and processor specs to achieve these faster frame rates.

The existing Quest’s 1440 x 1600 (per eye) OLED display works perfectly for most applications but can suffer in readability if you use your headset for virtual computer monitors or even when watching films. With headsets like the HP Reverb G2 featuring a 2160 x 2160 (per eye) LCD display, there is definitely some room for improvement with Quest 2 which could make watching those blockbuster movies and catching up with work from home a lot easier.

- Credit: Oculus

The Quest is already a pretty comfortable headset, but if you’re in it for long periods of time, it can start to feel a bit weighty. A Bloomberg report said that the Quest 2 prototypes are 10–15% smaller and lighter than the original Quest, which would make it a similar size to the Oculus Rift S. Lighter, smaller headsets enable users to stay in VR longer without experiencing discomfort. WalkingCat’s leaked images of the Quest 2 support this theory as they seem to show a smaller headset (though it’s difficult to tell weight just from an image!).

We’d also like to see the headset with something similar to the ergonomically designed Rift S ‘Halo’ headband as it helps to counterbalance the heaviness of the display. Another nice addition would be a flip-up display similar to the HTC Vive Cosmos, which makes switching between reality and virtual reality easier.

Expandable Storage
At the moment, the Quest’s storage options are either 64GB or 128GB. This is probably fine for your average user, but for us VR fanatics, we can never have enough! It would be great to see expandable storage in Quest 2 via a MicroSD card slot.

Many news outlets are citing 'reliable sources' when it comes to the facts about Quest 2, but the reality is that none of these stats and specs have been confirmed by Oculus yet. So, we’ll continue to keep our eyes out for exciting rumours and speculations and look forward to the official announcement.

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Category: Consumer Electronics , Wearable

Genre: Action , People , Visual VFX