Bloomberg reports Facebook is working on a new, more comfortable Oculus Quest.
Bloomberg is reporting that Facebook is currently working on a new Oculus Quest headset featuring a lighter physical design and faster refresh rates, resulting in a significantly more comfortable in-headset experience.
The new improved VR headset was reportedly scheduled to launch at the end of 2020 (which would fall into peak holiday shopping season), but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the date may be pushed back into 2021.
In recent months, Oculus has had a tough time keeping up with orders for both its 64GB and 128GB Quest headsets as more people than ever seek to join Oculus’ growing VR ecosystem; the impact of COVID-19 on manufacturing has only helped prolong these delays.
The current version of the Oculus Quest weighs about 1.25 pounds, which doesn’t seem like much, but after a long game session of Audio Trip, Pistol Whip, or any other physically-intense VR experience, you definitely begin to feel the weight. A lighter, more compact headset design could keep players in the action longer by offering a more comfortable in-headset experience.
Reports state Facebook is also exploring 120Hz displays for the new Oculus Quest and improved ergonomic controllers with full finger tracking. In regards to the displays, Twitter user, SkarredGhost pointed out that higher display rates aren’t very realistic due to battery issues, which is something Facebook would like to avoid. This new-and-improved Quest is also rumored to include a mechanical IPD slider.
It’s very possible Bloomberg’s report is referencing Facebook’s mysterious Del Mar headset which leaked this past March. As for price points, you might see the current Quest drop in price if Facebook introduces a new version into the market.
According to the Bloomberg article, Facebook is not only making the VR headset lighter and smaller, but they are also testing the idea of removing the fabric material from the sides in favor of a plastic design resembling that of the Oculus Rift S. Another design change includes switching out the rubber and velcro used at the top of the Quest with an elastic material.
One of the biggest issues with the current Oculus Quest is that the controllers battery cover will slide off during intense games, something I personally have experienced and find incredibly frustrating. Facebook has reportedly addressed this issue with the newly designed controllers, which will also be compatible with current Quest.
Like the current Quest setup, the new version would feature four external cameras and include support the Oculus Link cable, which lets you connect your headset to a PC for a much more robust VR experience.
With Apple reportedly working on its own VR headset for a possible 2021 launch, and with Zuckerberg recently saying that the current Quest has surpassed company expectations, VR is really starting to hit its stride with consumers.
Keep in mind that these reports have yet to be confirmed. However, it makes sense that Facebook would at the very least be exploring possible designs for its next standalone headset considering the success of the Oculus Quest.
Image Credit: Facebook, Oculus