Today, at the Facebook Connect conference, Oculus, along with its parent company, Facebook, officially announced the Oculus Quest 2, the highly anticipated follow-up to last year's insanely popular Oculus Quest VR platform. Earlier this week, we caught a glimpse of the Quest 2 when a marketing video was accidentally leaked online. That glimpse suggested a new, more powerful chipset, higher per-eye resolution, and additional storage—all of which were confirmed at today's live conference, along with some other major updates. Here's everything we learned about the new Oculus Quest 2.
Anyone who's played Vader Immortal can tell you that the graphics on the original Oculus Quest are solid—definitely good enough to fully immerse you in a VR world. In terms of resolution, the OG Oculus gave you 1440 x 1600 per eye. The new Oculus Quest 2 jacks that all the way up to nearly 2K res per eye. That's 50 percent more pixels than the original! As someone who owns the Oculus Quest and loves VR games like Vader Immortal, I can't even imagine what a 50-percent increase in pixels is going to look like. It's scary enough staring down Darth in 1440 x 1600. Going toe-to-toe with the big bad Sith in 2K is going to be awesome. And probably terrifying. I can't wait.
The Oculus Quest 2's big resolution bump will likely draw the most headlines, but it's the new chipset that's arguably the more important upgrade. Unlike the original, which made great use out of its all-purpose chip, the new Quest features a custom-built Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2. The new chip was designed specifically for VR/AR platforms and should greatly enhance the Quest 2's overall performance, meaning that it will support more graphically complex titles, as well as operate more efficiently. The powerful new chip will also play a big role in supporting the upcoming and still-developing VR technologies, such as controller-free hand tracking and the promised upgrade to 90Hz refresh rate—right now, it's at 72Hz, but Facebook says an upgrade is scheduled post-launch.
The Oculus Quest 2 received an across-the-board spec boost, and that includes both its storage and RAM options. The headset now comes with 6GB of total RAM (2GB more than its predecessor), and you can get it with up to 256GB of storage. Like the original, there's also a base storage model that comes with 64GB of storage.
Your Comfort Zone
One of the revolutionary aspects of the original Oculus Quest was that it delivered an untethered VR experience, which, at the time, was a fairly novel concept. No wired connections between the headset and the computer meant that you were able to move freely, without any sort of tether pulling against you. That freedom of movement, coupled with a lightweight headset that was comfortable and easy to wear, allowed users to enjoy a more immersive VR experience.
Oculus wanted to further that comfort level, so they made the Quest 2 slimmer, lighter, and with a supposedly more comfortable head strap that's made of cloth instead of rubber. I always felt the rubber headset was plenty comfy and secure, but if they wanted to make it even better, no complaint here. In case you do prefer a different type strap or fit, Oculus also released a number of wearable accessories for the Quest 2, including an Elite Strap.
Last year, the Oculus Quest took the world by storm, quickly selling out everywhere on its way to becoming the most in-demand item of the year. Since then, its popularity hasn't waned, and now, with the arrival of the even more powerful Oculus 2, we can only assume that popularity—and subsequent high demand—will continue. If the past is any kind of prologue, get ready for the Oculus Quest 2 to become the most sought-after gift of the holiday season.
You can order the Oculus Quest 2 now at B&H.