In short: Oculus has officially taken to the Oculus Connect VR developers conference to unveil its latest standalone VR gaming system, Oculus Quest, that will begin hitting the market in the Spring of 2019 at $399. Oculus Quest will feature the same display found in Oculus Go with a 1,600 x 1,400 resolution panel for each eye and lens-spacing adjustability along with 64GB storage at the above-mentioned cost. The built-in audio experience, however, has been improved with a better bass registry and higher overall quality. Simultaneously, the system utilizes four ‘ultra wide-angle’ sensors and AI to better track a wearer’s surroundings and provide better motion tracking. That’s coupled with Oculus Guardian for in-display boundary and object detection. Two wand-style Touch controllers are included in the package as well.
Background: Prior to this announcement, rumors had been put forward predicting that a new Oculus VR offering under the codename Santa Cruz was set to be launched at this particular event. Nearly all of that speculation now seems to line up neatly with the newly revealed Oculus Quest. In fact, even the launch date suggests that this is that device since Santa Cruz was rumored to hit the market in the first quarter of 2019. With that said, the company says this new headset represents the middle device in its first-generation VR lineup, fitting squarely between Oculus Rift and standalone budget device Oculus Go. The former of those two devices requires the power of a PC to run the latest titles and software with top-tier specs while the latter is a standalone headset more similar to Quest but with mobile-level internal hardware. That seems to imply that the Facebook-owned company is looking to start a trend in terms of releasing separate VR hardware for different budget and gaming needs.
Impact: Setting that aside, Oculus hasn’t revealed all of the details just yet with regard to specs. In particular, it hasn’t provided estimates for battery life or any insight into what internal components are powering Oculus Quest. Meanwhile, the company also hasn’t provided too much information regarding launch titles or titles that will eventually make their way to the system. Robo Recall, The Climb, and Moss will be available among the 50 initial titles touted by the company but it hasn’t said much beyond that. More details will undoubtedly come forward as the system approaches launch. At the same time, the company’s approach to the market, in general, could help spawn a new generation of mainstream viability for the platform.