Oculus CTO John Carmack virtually sat down with Andrew Bosworth (Boz), VP of Facebook Reality Labs on Twitter Spaces, on April 16 to answer some questions asked earlier in the day on Twitter. As is usual with these meetings, many questions were left unanswered in order to prevent the chat from running too long. However, there were some interesting details from the conversation, mostly centered around the future of the Quest platform and the Oculus Quest 2 itself. According to Carmack, Facebook plans to support Quest 2 “for a long time” with updates and new features, and an Oculus Quest 3 will not happen in 2021.
When asked specifically about the Quest 2’s features and whether Facebook has reached the limit of what can be done with the headset, he added that the team was “close to the thermal limits” of the headset, but still a lot There is space to work. He playfully added that the “Slop” encoding can be tweaked to improve the performance of current features – which won’t surprise many who have complained about Oculus Home’s performance after recent updates – and that the The team could use tricks like dynamic refresh rates and dynamic resource usage to help alleviate hiccups as well.
Many Quest 2 updates are in the works as the team has not yet reached the “thermal limits” of the headset.
Carmack talked about how the console paradigm usually means it takes developers 4 to 5 years to get the most out of a system. This seems to suggest that Quest 2 is longer than Quest 1’s 18 month shelf life. The Resident Evil 4 VR remake raised some eyebrows as it is the first Quest 2 exclusive game that prompted several developers to ask about the possibility of banning Quest 1 in the future. Boz responded that developers shouldn’t write off Quest 1 just yet as they still have access to “7 Numbers Extra Users” which means Quest 1 sold better than expected and still has over a million active users – otherwise people would don’t buy games to play on.
Carmack teased a surprise announcement regarding the walk-through cameras on Quest and Quest 2, saying that this feed would be available to developers soon. This is surprising given that Facebook had previously announced that the footage from these cameras would not be made available. However, the change in course seems to highlight the company’s growing focus on AR and VR, which indicates the likelihood that we’ll see more AR experiences on Quest in the future. There’s no telling what kind of best Oculus Quest 2 accessories could come from this future.
Quest 3 will not take place in 2021, as Facebook is tied to Quest 2 “for a long time”.
Future improvements to Quest 2 could focus on audio latency, which Carmack says should be significantly lower, as well as improved convenience options that are system-wide rather than being implemented by each game individually. According to Carmack, there’s a lot of depth information that can be used not only to create a smarter vignetting feature – the name given to the optional darkened area around a player’s cone of vision to reduce motion sickness – a feature that can only be seen on the parts of the image, which can lead to motion sickness, are more obscured than the entire image, as is currently the case. A system-wide setting would fit what Sony and Microsoft do on the PS5 and Xbox X series | S did because setting a default would apply to all games in order to provide a consistent experience.
Looking to the future, which Carmack found still a long way off, Quest 3 and Quest Pro were up for discussion, but the path Facebook could take with these headsets is not entirely clear yet. Carmack suggested that a future headset could be called Quest Pro and would include “all sorts of crazy sensors” and other technology that wouldn’t fit into the main Quest headset paradigm. Hence, we expect Quest 3 to be launched as a refined version of Quest 2 rather than a revolutionary new product. There has also been talk of future headsets that may only offer hand, keyboard, and mouse tracking. This fits right in with what Facebook added in the April Quest 2 v28 update and would probably be a better overall experience than what Oculus Go offered back then around.