After last week's big Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X announcement, people were treated to even more major events. Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, which was followed by Sony's PS5 showcase. If that still was not enough, Facebook Connect also took place to talk about augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Among the items that were introduced during the livestream was the Oculus Quest 2, which is set to release on Oct. 13.
The adoption of VR technology remains uncertain as most regular headsets are expensive. Moreover, in order to operate properly, these require powerful computers that can be prohibitive for those on a budget. As such, Facebook-owned Oculus introduced the $399 Quest on May 21, 2019. Its sequel hopes to outdo the original by being $100 cheaper at $299 and ship with new features that will justify the upgrade.
According to Facebook, the Oculus Quest 2 packs a new display with a higher resolution than its predecessor, reports CNN. To be specific, it now boasts 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye compared to the 1440 x 1600 of the first-generation version. Although it supports a 72 Hz refresh rate at launch, an upcoming software update should bump it up to 90 Hz. These tweaks should make reading text easier and hopefully make the visuals appears smoother.
It is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset paired with 6 GB of RAM. The standard model has 64 GB of internal storage, but for $100 more, it goes up to 256 GB. The headset uses 2 AA batteries enough for two to three hours of usage and is only available in a white colourway.
Unlike regular VR headsets, the Quest 2 is a standalone unit and does not need external sensors to operate. Instead, tracking is handled by integrated cameras that can detect movement using the Oculus Insight system. While Facebook envisions VR technology as a versatile platform that can help with social interactions, work, and multimedia consumption. Nevertheless, most owners will primarily use it for gaming.
The Oculus Quest 2 ships with two controllers, but the headset can likewise track the user's hands. Although the accuracy is not at the same level as with the accessories, it reportedly works as advertised. To play more resource-intensive titles, owners can plug it to a gaming PC with a USB Type-C cable to run games designed for the Rift.