Facebook, the parent company of the VR brand Oculus, announced the second-gen of the virtual reality headset last night at its annual keynote.
Pre-orders for the Quest 2 are already open, and the device will cost $300. All of this seems fair, right? Nothing’s particularly off about the whole thing. Except that Facebook announced that you won’t be able to log in or use the Oculus Quest 2 if you don’t have a Facebook account, which seems inherently sneaky.
The techy stuff
On to the specs: the Quest 2 is slimmer and lighter than the original Quest, and weighs in at just 503 grams. This time you also get a soft cloth head strap replacing the rubbery one on the OG headset. For more comfort, and longer wearing, because who doesn’t want to be stuck in the Matrix for extended periods of time? Of course, we’re not serious, we love the original Quest so more comfort for longer wearing is a bonus.
In terms of design, you still get the self-contained inside-out headset we all know and love, featuring four tracking cameras mounted on the front, plus two black-and-white Oculus Touch motion controllers. You’ll also be able to play all current-gen Quest games, which is great if you’ve already invested in the ecosystem. “For now, all new and existing Quest games will work on both generations of the headset, with no Quest 2-exclusive content,” The Verge confirms.
Powering the headset is a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset, 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for the base model. The more expensive $400 model will come with 256GB. The display will now come in at 1832×1920 pixels per eye instead of the Quest’s 1440×1600 pixels.
The most interesting upgrade, however, is the Link feature which allows you to easily plug the Quest 2 into a PC via USB-C, enabling you to play PC VR games on the headset. Although it was available in the Quest last year, it was still in beta — Facebook is making it official and rolling it out on the 2.
Then the WTF stuff
On to the issue at hand (or eye), the Oculus Quest will require the user to have a Facebook account to use it. It’s a controversial topic. Because everyone has a Facebook account, right? Wrong.
The Verge spoke to the Quest 2’s product manager Prabhu Parthasarathy, who basically said that they don’t really care. “Every single social experience available on the platform has seen particular engagement in the past few months. We’ve always been thinking: what is the right moment to make our VR headsets more social? And we feel this is the right moment.”
So if you happen to have a Facebook account, you’ll be able to link it through the Oculus Quest 2, and you’ll be able to “find Facebook friends in VR”. This is specially designed for its new social VR space called Horizon, which it launched recently in a bid to make the world even more like ‘ Ready Player One’.