Facebook is reportedly planning to launch a new Oculus Quest headset, but it may not arrive until next year.
According to a new report from Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, a new version of the popular, £399 standalone virtual reality device is facing delays due to the Covid-19 crisis. The firm had initially planned to launch the next-gen Quest before the end of 2020, but supply chain complications means the release is likely to slip into 2021.
It’s likely we would have seen this device launched at the Oculus Connect conference, but that’s been cancelled, with Facebook putting a stop to all in-person gatherings until summer 2021 at the earliest.
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The report says Facebook still hasn’t finalised the features for the affordable headset, but the headline new feature could be a refresh rate of “at least 90Hz” with the potential for 120Hz displays if battery life concerns can be mitigated. The current Quest offers 60Hz refresh rates.
The new model could be up to 15% lighter than the current 1.25lb model. It is yet to be decided whether the sequel will replace or complement the existing model, the sources say. It’s also possible the design could see more plastic used in the construction, replacing the fabric, while elastic straps are another option, those familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
The timing is probably good for Facebook to launch more Oculus hardware, given how much time people are spending at home. There’s also plenty of potential for VR to excel in the enterprise world as an alternative to video conferencing.
And, let’s face it, this reality is pretty crap. You can understand why folks might want to escape to an all-immersive new world where there’s no coronavirus. VR usage is way up, by all accounts, and Facebook has struggled to maintain stocks of the current Quest headset.