I don’t like to report on rumours, as tempting it was to jump on the same bandwagon and report on the white Oculus headset leaks, but there has been a number of cross-supporting leaks over the past two months, it is hard not to report on this now. So let’s bring you up to date on what has occurred over the last six months…
The rise of Del Mar and Oculus Jedi
Everything first kicked-off back in March 2020, after a developer document listed a new unknown device called ‘Del Mar‘. Further Oculus SDK documentation also listed a new controller type, called ‘Oculus Jedi Controller for the Del Mar device‘.
In April a Jedi Controller controller driver was found in the firmware of the Oculus Quest. This was done possibly to allow developers and various people with access to the new Quest, the ability to use or map controller inputs for this new controller along with the original Quest to help develop their games for the upcoming platform. The controller driver carried references to faster-LED sensor rates, accelerometer and gyroscopes with less interference, improved haptics and a finger position sensor codenamed ‘Rainier’.
Facebook is working on a new Oculus Quest – no s**t
In May Bloomberg posted a report that Facebook was working on a new Oculus Quest with various improvements. This was a no-brainer article by Bloomberg. The Oculus Quest has been so popular for Facebook, and VR in general, so Facebook will very likely be working on its replacement, but no one knew it would be this soon!
The headset improvements that Bloomberg reported were a faster refresh rate for its display, that it will be 10 to 15% smaller than the current Quest, it will be 20% lighter and it will feature plastic material instead of its current fabric material for its outer casing. Its strap was reported to be more elastic – like the Oculus GO – its controller would be more comfortable and it will fix a common problem with the existing Quest controllers – this could possibly be the battery compartment or the now known thumb rest.
Oculus Quest 2 images have landed
In July the internet received a ‘money shot’ of marketing renders and some even more confirming production-model photos of the upcoming headset.
These photos started to confirm the report from Bloomberg. The headset certainly looked plastic, it was smaller and with these combined it would therefore lighter in weight, the head strap shown in both renders and production-model photos was elastic, which is only possible if it is as light as the GO was.
The photos of the controllers also showed a noticeable increase in width on the faceplate, which allows for a thumb rest position and it’s also possible that there will be a sensor here too.
The inside lenses were also teased with a 3-level (narrow, default, wide) setting for its IPD adjustment, instead of the more granular adjustment found on the current Quest.
Oculus Quest being discontinued
When these images released, there were many doubted that this was the Oculus Quest 2, but more a low-end Oculus Go-like replacement. However, more recently, there have been a few leaks from people working in various electrical stores including Walmart in the US and Argos in the UK (that have previously sold the Oculus Quest), stating that the Oculus Quest is now being discontinued in their stores, with no more stock of the Oculus Quest filling the shelves from this point on.
The Oculus Quest is now fast-becoming a much rarer product, with people already snapping up stock and selling the headset for a higher price on eBay. Grr!
This rumour, along with Facebook Connect (previously known as Oculus Connect) coming on September 16th, and the recent leaks of the headset in the wild, along with its promotional marketing images. All of these rumours solidify the impending release of the updated Oculus Quest, by whatever name it will carry.
Oculus Quest 2 Release Date
At the end of August, we started to hear some rumoured release dates surface from retailers, some stating a street date of Oct 13, some saying its release date is very close or around the Facebook Connect event, which makes it certain we will hear about this new headset in a few weeks and a pre-order date to be very soon after and a release date in October.
There were rumours that the headset would also be delayed until 2021, but with the product now becoming discontinued, it’s very likely that the release is pretty imminent, with stock being ready and shipping to stores ahead of its release later this month. Facebook barely could create enough stock of the headset and by discontinuing the Quest now will mean the new stock will come from the Quest 2 production line instead for high street stores and online retailers – likely resulting in pre-order and a later release.
Oculus Quest 2 Prices
Alongside these release dates have come possible costs of the upcoming Quest replacement headset, and this news, if true, came as a bit of a surprise to me.
There have been listings of a 64GB model for $299, that’s $100 cheaper than the current 64GB Oculus Quest, but the real surprise is that there will be a second model with 256GB that will sell for $399, which is the same price as the 64GB Oculus Quest and is $100 cheaper than the 128GB Oculus Quest. Both prices will be great bullet points on the big screen behind Zuckerberg, when he announces the Quest replacement on stage at Facebook Connect on the 16th September.
Will it be called Oculus Quest 2?
So will it be called the ‘Oculus Quest 2’ or will it be called an entirely new product name? Even though Facebook has been recently rebranding its Oculus VR and AR departments to Facebook Reality Labs, Oculus the brand and product name will likely still be around. It would be stupid of Facebook to replace what is a well established and recognisable brand in VR.
The leaked rendered images carried the tag ‘Quest 2’ but the leaked Walmart listings had the title ‘Oculus Point Reyes’ which is likely a code name, named after a cape in California, USA. My guess is that it will carry the Quest name and it will be Oculus Quest 2 or Oculus Quest Pro.
One thing is for sure, we will know a lot more nearer or just after the Facebook Connect event on 16th September at 10 AM PT. The event will stream live on the day on Facebook Live or in Oculus Venus in VR.