The Oculus Quest will be getting the ability to track your hands in an update expected to arrive early 2020.
This new technology will mean you won’t need to press buttons or use a controller to interact with objects in the virtual space, making the whole experience feel more natural and less intimidating for gaming newcomers.
Related: Oculus Quest Review
Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the news during the Oculus Connect 6 keynote on 25 September. The hand-tracking powers won’t require additional sensors, with the Oculus Quest headset itself capable of detecting and tracking your hands alone.
It wasn’t clarified what games or applications will actually support this new hand-tracking technology. The trailer showed a woman navigating the Oculus menus with her hands, and then selecting the game demo Elixr. Here, we witnessed her popping green goo bubbles with her fingers and waving her hand through candle flames. Then we saw her harnessing magic powers with her hands, and casting spells by simply flicking her wrist.
It’s unlikely current games will see immediate support for the hand-tracking technology, but expect to see more applications and games launch in the future that allow you to ditch the Oculus Touch controllers in favour of your own fleshy digits.
We’re dreaming of using a bow and arrow with your hands in an adventure title, or your own fists in a boxing match brawl. Other than seeing a more intuitive experience, the hand-tracking technology found with the Quest will also mean you won’t need to keep recharging your controllers after long hour of play.
Facebook made numerous other reveals at the Oculus Connect 6 event. Most exciting of all was the official announcement that the Oculus Quest will be able to hook up to your gaming PC and play more technically demanding Rift games. This update will be available from November 2019.
Zuckerberg also revealed a new social platform called Facebook Horizon will also act as new hub to play and interact with friends via animated avatars.