With sales in VR headsets taking off during the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook’s Oculus division is redesigning its wireless Quest virtual reality headset, according to Bloomberg. Some of the models in the late stages of testing are both smaller and lighter than the current model, while offering a faster refresh rate for added realism. Oculus is reportedly working on a new controller design, too.
The versions in testing might weigh around a pound, which is 10 to 15 percent lighter than the current model. That would address a key concern we had in our review — the fact that it’s a bit heftier than the Go and Rift S makes it less comfortable than those models. Oculus is reportedly also experimenting with materials by replacing fabric on the sides with plastic and making the strap material more elastic.
With a 72 Hz refresh rate, the Quest isn’t as sharp as the Rift, which has a smoother 90 Hz display. The next Quest model may also offer a 90 Hz refresh rate, but Oculus is reportedly testing models with up to 120 Hz displays. However, they’d be capped at 90 Hz to preserve battery life.
Other features in testing include a mechanism for adjusting the distance between your pupils and more comfortable controllers with battery covers that won’t tend to fall off like they do now. The prototype models supposedly have four external cameras versus five on the Rift S, along with six degrees of freedom. They’ll still support the Oculus Link cable if you prefer to go wired.
During Facebook’s earnings calls last week, Mark Zuckerberg said that Oculus can’t build enough Quest headsets right now. A shortage of parts is apparently affecting the model in development, too, due to the COVID-19’s impact on the global supply chain, Bloomberg reported. As such, Facebook expects to have the new Quest ready by the end of 2020, but it might not go on sale until 2021. All these reports are from unnamed sources, so take them with an appropriate dose of skepticism.