Based on the array of leaks and reports over the last few months, it is very likely that Facebook will unveil their latest headset at Facebook Connect, occurring on 16 September. All signs point towards an update on the Oculus Quest, the bestselling VR headset that dominated the consumer VR world in 2019 and 2020. While the name is unconfirmed, the community is commonly labelling it the Oculus Quest 2.
Details are sparse, but we know a few things that would get enterprise customers excited about the newest VR headset from Facebook. Signs point towards a lighter form-factor, better specs, and potentially a cheaper price. So, what should we expect?
Why is Facebook updating the Oculus Quest?
The original Oculus Quest is one of the bestselling VR headsets in recent history. It shot to popularity with its standalone qualities, decent specifications, and wide variety of software titles available from day one. Though Facebook hasn’t unveiled the selling figures of the headset, the company has reported that they experienced supply-side issues in early 2020 partially because of the demand. The headset has also been sold out consistently throughout 2019 and 2020 via retailers globally.
Though popular, the VR headset experienced some design issues. The headset was still relatively heavy for some users, hurting their necks over time. The Oculus Quest also had a sub-par headband, which was not as stable as other kinds provided by competitors. Facebook is likely updating the headset to address these issues, and potentially offer a more competitive price.
For enterprise customers, they may expect a better-quality headset if they go through Facebook’s services. The enterprise edition of the Oculus Quest is $999, with one year’s subscription to related services. There is no confirmation about whether this would change with a new headset around the corner.
What are the specifications of the Oculus Quest 2?
While none of the specs have been confirmed yet, numerous reports have pointed towards a refresh of the current Oculus Quest headset. With that in mind, here are a few specs we know about:
- Adjustable lenses: This allows for manual IPD adjustment. The current headset does not allow for lenses to move, depending on the interpupillary distance between eyes. Studies have shown that it is a leading way to cut motion sickness, granting people a smoother viewing experience.
- Improved controller tracking: The controllers may be upgraded, with greater tracking capabilities. This means controllers will be detected more quickly if they leave the sights of the VR headset’s cameras.
- Lighter and smaller: The Oculus Quest 2 will likely be more compact, making it more comfortable to wear for longer periods. This means it will be less likely to hurt people’s necks as they use the headset while playing or training.
How much will the Oculus Quest 2 cost?
The current Oculus Quest retails for £399/$399. This is significantly cheaper than competitor headsets require a VR-ready PC as well as the headset itself. However, it is still out of the price range of most people who want to try out VR for the first time.
The Oculus Go had its price cut during the Christmas of 2019, selling for approximately $180. This proved to be a sweet-spot for adoption, as it became one of the hottest-selling items that holiday season. The success shows that $150-$200 helps move units into consumer’s hands.
The Oculus Quest 2 will likely never reach that level. It’s more likely that the headset will either meet the current cost of the original model, or discount the price by $50 to $350 RRP. As such, it will likely compete against the new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 in price.
Why should enterprise users care?
While gamers and social users might be excited about the next VR headset, why should enterprise customers care about the release? Because a new headset brings more options for enterprise users who are considering the best headsets for their employees. Each year brings a new headset that provides new capabilities that elevate experiences, which can in turn help employees learn skills better and quicker.
Current options for standalone 6DoF VR include the Oculus Quest, HTC Vive Focus Plus, and the PICO Neo 2. All three have their pros and cons when compared to each other, and the new Oculus Quest 2 will likely replace the current headset against its competitors.
The update on IPD is significant. It lowers the chances of motion sickness that employees can feel, as they can adjust their settings for their own comfort. The same goes for the lighter headset as well; the easier it is to wear, the more likely it is that the training process will be seamless and impactful without distress.
In any case, we should expect the Oculus Quest 2 to make a decent splash for both consumers and enterprise customers this Christmas.
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