A couple of months back a leak on the Oculus Developer website made reference to a new standalone headset codenamed ‘Del Mar’. This week, a new report suggests a new Oculus Quest is in the works with a possible launch taking place this year.
A new report by Bloomberg, suggests that Facebook is working on reducing the size and weight of the current standalone model, with some versions between 10 percent to 15 percent smaller. While the Oculus Quest has received much praise, the fact that all the electronics are in the front means it is front heavy, weighing in at 571g (1.25 pounds). Thus a smaller, lighter version will make the headset more comfortable to wear.
This reduction is being tested in a number of ways, from removing fabric and replacing it with more plastic to changing other materials like the velcro being used. One feature seemingly staying is the physical IPD adjustment. The manual option supports more eye variations than the digital version used by Oculus Rift S.
While some models are tackling the weight issue others are focused on improving the visual experience, providing a faster refresh rate. Until Oculus Quest arrived Oculus always noted that for comfortable VR experience headsets needed a minimum refresh rate of 90Hz. The arrival of Quest saw 72Hz employed using an OLED display. Reportedly, faster refresh rates of 90Hz and 120Hz are being experimented with – the 120Hz screens likely capped at 90Hz due to battery life. If this is the case then it’s likely Oculus is moving towards an LCD display just like Oculus Rift S.
It’s not just the headset Facebook is finetuning. The Touch controllers are also being redesigned, looking to address the problems like the battery cover which can come loose. Supposedly the new controllers will be compatible with the current Oculus Quest.
While it’s no surprise that Facebook is working on a new model due to the time it takes to develop one, the most interesting bit of information relates to the planned launch. A release is slated for around Oculus Connect at the end of the year but this could be pushed back in 2021 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Oculus Quest is coming up on its first birthday and currently very difficult to get hold of. Mark Zuckerberg said recently: “I wish we could make more of them.”
When further details regarding Facebook’s latest VR hardware are released, VRFocus will let you know.